I mentioned a trip to Rose Ness in a previous post (the one about avoiding the midges). What I didn't mention was that there was a bit of a preamble to the er... amble, which I will recount here.
En route to the clifftops, I knew we would pass a muddy pool behind St Nicholas' Kirk, so I made sure that I had my camera with me. This pool has held water for a long time, well, at least as long as we've lived in the area. Other pools have come and gone, depending upon either incessant rain or a prolonged dry spell, but this one was a stayer.
Until, that is, someone drove a tractor into it and the resulting wheel ruts became two drainage ditches. Could've been an unintended consequence, I suppose.
Any road, the upshot was lots of mud, which resident and migratory waders were making good use of. Hence the camera. The number of species was lower than on recent visits, but these Redshanks, Dunlin and, possibly, a Curlew Sandpiper made a nice grouping.
OK, you've got me, the blogpost should be titled 'Five waders and a funeral'.
And so, on to the cliffs. The first sight that greeted us was a dead sea bird. From our vantage point, I wasn't sure whether it was a Guillemot or a species of diver. Time for a closer inspection.
I made my way down a steep grassy slope, and along the base of the cliffs, being careful not to incur the displeasure of the resident Fulmars. Locating the deceased bird, I was fairly sure it was a Guillemot. There were no obvious signs of what caused its death.
Nearby, there is a small sea stack. I couldn't help noticing that it was a bit smaller than the last time we walked by.
Also on the beach and also beyond salvation, was this jellyfish...
ID'd as Lion's mane jellyfish Cyanea capillata by Dr Martin Lilley. Many thanks, Dr Jelly! And he tells me that a freshly washed-up example like this could still sting. Eep!
OK, it's a fair cop, the blogpost should be titled 'Five waders and two funerals'.