Monday 1 July 2013

Orkney, June 2013, Part 6

This is a bitsa post, lots of disparate topics all loosely cobbled together in a jumble. And I'll just pretend that's not how I usually blog.

The following photos were all taken with the camera on my phone, so were more 'off the cuff' and 'spur of the moment' shots than anything composed with my DSLR. And, yes, I'm continuing the pretence mentioned above!

During our clifftop ramble around the Aikerness peninsula, we eventually found ourselves down at sea level, picking our way gingerly through the rocks and boulders. As is to be expected with any shoreline these days, there is a huge amount of rubbish washed up on the coast. All of it generated by humans, very little of it from Orkney. The more environmentally-active members of the island communities carry out regular beach clearing events, termed "Bag the Bruck" (after the local word for 'rubbish') to prevent wildlife being too affected by all the plastic, glass and netting. It was little surprise, therefore, to come across a drinks bottle, jammed between the rocks...

except this one had a message in it!
 The note inside explained that it was from a pupil at a school on another island, presumably for some curriculum project or other. I bet you can guess which song from 1979 we were singing for the rest of the day!

One of the great things about going on holiday is that you can do out-of-the-ordinary things. Or perhaps normal things but in a different way. The driver's door pocket of our truck always contains essential kit; ice scraper, de-icing fluid, work gloves for wheel changes. Not on this holiday...

Every day is Binsday
As mentioned previously, we were accompanied on this trip by JD. When we told him we were driving, rather than flying, to Orkney and could take the kitchen sink if we wanted, he took us pretty much at our word.

JD likes to cook. Here's some of the essentials he transported to Westray and unpacked into a cupboard...

Some of our trips between the islands were courtesy of the Britten Norman Islander aircraft operated by Loganair. With a maximum passenger configuration of 8, it's quite snug.

It's ok, the pilot was just carrying out pre-flight checks and winding up the elastic band.
During another one of our clifftop walks, this time on the stunning west coast of Westray, we encountered a scene that wasn't so easy to capture through a prime focus lens on a DSLR.

Cliffs, Thrift and Fulmars
Towards the end of the holiday, we spent a day on Mainland, taking JD on a whistle-stop tour of some of the sights. Brough of Birsay, Broch of Gurness, Ring of Brodgar and the RSPB Birsay Moors nature reserve. We parked on Burgar Hill next to a hide that looks across several lochans whose immediate environs feature breeding Red-throated Divers, Curlews, Arctic and Great Skuas. Oh, and six of these...

Yep, that's our car parked at the base of the structure. Happily, we didn't find any trace of shredded Red-throated Divers, Curlews, Arctic or Great Skuas. Perhaps we just weren't looking properly?

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