Friday, 25 May 2012
It's too hot!!
Not a phrase you hear in Orkney very often!! Yesterday top temperature was 20 degrees C/68F - which for Orkney is HOT! Mid-summer temps sometimes get up to mid 70s F but considering last week we were feeling the cold in temperatures in the low 50s F you can understand why we are all saying we are too hot! And the poor nesting birdies must be confused. Wind and rain one week, blazing sunshine the next!
These photos were taken by a friend, J, on a walk to Markwick and she kindly let me reproduce them here. These are the cliffs at Marwick Head. Some of you in the UK may have seen these in the recent "Coast" programme on BBC, as there was an episode almost entirely devoted to Orkney including the fateful last journey of the HMS Hampshire with Lord Kitchener on board which was sunk just ofshore. There is a memorial tower on top of the cliffs called The Kitchener's Memorial
The cliffs are home to guillimots, kittiwakes, fulmars and sometimes puffins. All crammed on rock ledges. The noise (and - er - smell) is amazing when you lean over the cliffs during the breeding season. Go up there out of season and the cliffs are silent. Spooky.
Top photo - looking at the cliffs of Markwick Head.
Here are the nesting birds! In a good season there may be up to 25,000 actually raising chicks "on the edge"!
And here is the lovely pink thrift that also clings resolutely to the edge of cliffs. I love this plant for it's bravery and tenacity.