Thursday 20 August 2009


It's been a busy summer and I have been very remiss in leaving my blog unattended and out of date for so long.
However a recent trip to Iona will bring my blog back up to date!
Iona is a tiny island situated just off the coast of Mull. We stayed in the Abbey, and for one week lived as part of the Iona community
We ate in the dining room together with friends. We shared the daily tasks
We had time to wander round the Abbey
and explore the island, just one and a half miles wide by three and a half miles long!
drying onions!

There were seaweed eating sheep
and chubby tame lambs
wild flower meadows
and rock pools to peer in - crystal clear and blue
The highlight for me was a boat trip out to Staffa
The Cormorants (or were they Shags?) came to wave us off, as did the seals but my pictures didn't quite turn out!

Fingal's cave on the island of Staffa made famous by Mendelssohn's Hebridean overture
Looking in
and looking out
outside was where the real beauty lay - mainly because due to a technical hitch getting my camera settings wrong! my inside cave pictures went the same way as my seal pictures!
A doodle bug!
                                   I couldn't look down, I lay on my tummy and could only look out!
This is yet another spectacular part of the highlands and a 'must' place to visit.

Thursday 6 August 2009


 This isn't a very clear picture I'm afraid, clicking on it will enlarge it. I was sorting out some paper work and paying some bills this morning when I became aware of a sort of a commotion and bird noise outside. I looked out of the window on the upstairs landing and saw dozens of swallows looping the loop and circling round the house, chattering and tripping over each other vying for places on the upstairs window ledges. I grabbed the camera and hurried out in the garden. Trying not to get to near to the house I managed to get this shot, hand holding the camera above my head, and pointing in the general direction of the noise!
Swallows are the most delightful birds, nimble graceful and pretty. They must have been feeding on insects, resting for a moment, before circling round the house and up into the sky. Eventually the flock moved on further up the hill behind the house. It's incredible to think that in a month or two these little birds will be flying to the desert regions of Africa and beyond.
A letter came on Tuesday from The British Trust for Ornithology thanking me for taking the time to report my ringed bird. I haven't heard about the second one yet. The first one found in April (not May as I remembered) was female and ringed in Ullapool in December 08. She was one year and four months old.She had flown a distance of 7km and lived for a total of 104 days, since being ringed, before pegging out underneath the bird feeder in the garden! I understand that the British Museum is used on the ring as an address for its familiarity in other countries
Poor little siskin. She wasn't very old. I wonder why she didn't just settle in an Ullapool garden?
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