Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Old Man of Hoy and Dive-bombing Skuas

Today was a walk day. It was also forecast to be sunny all day; an orange filter day with Ilford FP4!

We decided to go to the Orkney island of Hoy, which is where the only high hills are in these islands.

We caught the first ferry at 7.45am and had arranged a minibus to take us the 4 miles to Rackwick Bay.

From here the walking started, 3 miles to the Old Man of Hoy, a 450 ft sea stack. This was easy walking on a good track all the way to the Old Man.

Lots of viewpoints for pictures of the Old Man.

Then a walk over a saddle on a ridge. The Great Skuas were here in force and dive-bombed us as we walked through. It was rough walking across tussock grass and heather and steep down to the track.

A couple of miles and we made it to the pass. Here I left the others, passed through another Great Skua area with yet more Dive-bombing and climbed Ward Hill (480m), the highest hill on Orkney. Just 40 minutes to the top from the pass. The views from here were spectacular.

At the bottom I spotted a pair of Red Throated Divers on a small lake. Hadn't seen any for quite a few years.

The last bit was back to the ferry and Stromness.

The Ferry Inn was still out of Dark Island so I had a few Doombars instead.

The picture is of the Hoy Hills. I forgot to take many photos with my phone so just this one to give an idea of terrain.

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