One of the plants that thrives on all the islands is the Hottentot Fig, a kind of succulent I think.Here it is in flower. These are about 3-4 inches in diameter.I don't know what this tree was that was growing all over the island, but the Blackbirds, Thrushes and Starlings were crazy for these luscious looking berries. This succulent sticking out of a wall was about 16 inches across. Beautiful with the sunlight on it.We then left the cultivated middle for the footpath that follows the coastline of this tiny island. Here we're heading for the infamous Hell Bay.It looks beautiful and tranquil when the weather is lovely like we had on this day, but in a bad storm coming in off the Atlantic, there's nothing to stop the full fury and many a ship has been wrecked in this area in times past. I took a very short video here which can be seen by clicking on the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ8jhDjih4U . We stopped to have our lunch up here. Probably one of the best lunch spots in the world ever!After lunch we carried on walking the coastline. Another lighthouse, I guess there is a need for lots of them here for safe shipping!At the top of the island, there were lots of Great Black-backed Gulls loafing around the cliffs and I wanted to sit and watch them for a while and try and get some flight shots. So, David and Geoff walked on down and again I was able to sit on the cliff edge and soak up the sights and sounds around me. This was the best of the shots I could get. They seemed to be very well aware of me and never came in close to where I was sitting.On the way back down to join my friends, I came across this pair of Small Copper butterflies flirting with each other. Eventually they settled down on this autumn coloured bracken which made a wonderful backdrop.This is the view on my way back down the eastern part of the island looking over to Tresco. The building you can see over there is Cromwell's Castle which was built in 1651 and is one of the few remaining Cromwellian fortifications surviving today.This photo shows the stretch of water between the island of Tresco and Bryher where during a low tide, it is possible to wade knee deep across from one island to the other. The second post on Bryher will be about our walk along Southward beach towards our pick up point for the boat back to St Mary's.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Bryher - untamed beauty!
These next two posts are devoted to my favourite of the islands, Bryher. It is the smallest of the five inhabited islands at just 327 acres and has a population of only 81 resident people. For this trip my birding buddies split up. Jane and Dave went off to the island of St Agnes and in the photo below you see David and Geoff joining me on the boat over to Bryher for the day.It's always worth keeping your bins handy on these boat trips to the other islands. I was always a bit worried that I would lose my favourite birding cap. This was given to me by a very dear friend in Iowa and is irreplaceable to me. It's a Dallas County Conservation cap and fits my small head perfectly, well nearly perfectly! (-: Thanks Fred!This photo is taken from the middle of the island and shows some of the many uninhabited islands that are dotted all around the Isles of Scilly. The middle of Bryher has a nicely untidy cultivated look to it which is surrounded by the untamed beauty of the surrounding hills and headlands.As you can see the granite headlands offer shelter to these beautiful bays of soft silver sand and not another person in sight! It's wonderful!Before setting off on the coastal footpath, we enjoyed some of the flowers still in bloom on the island. These Red Hot Pokers were halfway over, but still made a wonderful sight.