Friday, 18 September 2009

Crustaceans ! Cetaceans ! More Orkney wildlife ... and a culinary diversion

Pagurus bernhardus
Common hermit crabs Pagurus bernhardus are not true crabs being more closely related to lobsters: Order Decapoda, Infraorder Anomura (Campbell A., 2005 Philip's Guide to Seashores and Shallow Seas of Britain and Northern Europe. China. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.).
This hive of hermit crab activity was witnessed from the causeway leading to the Broch of Birsay, West Mainland on the 9th September - the broch itself situated on a sea bound mount and containing fine examples of both Pictish and Norse archaeology as well as a modern automated lighthouse.

Halichoerus grypus

Halichoerus grypus
These grey seals Halichoerus grypus were seen basking on skerries at the Southern end of Linklet Bay on North Ronaldsey on 16th September. Both video's were digi'scoped. I value the "Aaah" factor of both video's at a miminum £5 Sterling! Any higher offers?
A culinary diversion: The island of North Ronaldsey is renowned for the quality of both it's lamb and mutton, the taste of the meat is unique. The sheep of the island closely related to the Soay sheep roam the beaches and skerries at low tide feeding exclusively upon sea weed. A 13 mile stone wall has been long maintained around the coastline of North Ronaldsey, by a committee of farmers - to ensure that the sheep do not advance inland and feed on pasture.
North Ronaldsey sheep feeding on seaweed, note the ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula in the bottom left hand corner at the start of the video. Apologies for the wayward moments at the end.

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