Sunday, 4 July 2010

Holiday 2010 - Part 2

Our home for the next week and a half, Muckle Roe (Old Norse for " Big Red Isle") is an island composed of red granite  and is covered in moorland and small lochs. Its most impressive features, however, are the bays of North and South Ham, an hour or so's walk across to the west. Here sea stacks, caves, arches and cliffs combine to give spectacular views. Our first few days on the island were spent exploring these and the nearby abandoned settlement of Ham.

Cliffs at North Ham

The walk across from the B+B was punctuated with frequent stops to look at the plentiful flowers on display: Lesser Spearwort, Spring Squill, Butterwort, Round-leaved Sundew, Milkwort, Heath Bedstraw and Heath Spotted Orchid to name a few. A family of Ravens were making a raucous din on a hilltop, Snipe were drumming all around, the shrill call of a raptor alerted us to a brief glimpse of a Merlin and a pair of Golden Plover made plaintive contact calls as they watched our progress.

Golden Plover

The flora and fauna were definitely different to that found in good old Milk 'n' Beans. In fact, the only "normal" garden birds we spotted were these two healthy-looking specimens.

Britain's most northerly pair of Blue Tits

The garden of the B+B was cunningly designed to provide a sheltered location for a colourful array of flowers. In turn, these were providing food and accommodation for all manner of insects. Besides Large White Butterflies, we also spotted the Shetland Bumble Bee, a species endemic to the islands.

Shetland Bumble Bee

The punky nature of that haircut is made less threatening by those little orange armbands. Yeah, we're anarchists, but only if the water's not too deep!

2 comments:

Bob Bushell said...

It is a fun holiday Graeme. Espcially the Golden Prover.

John said...

You've caused me to giggle lots in a public space! God what the neighbours are thinking as I sit on my doorstep giggling :0)