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We hope this section will carry brief reports of formal and informal Club outings and activities. Please feel free to add comments and information.

Our New Year's Ramble

by Anne - 09:19 on 06 January 2015

The start of 2015 did not offer any chance of brilliant weather, but we donned wet-gear, gloves and hats for our New Year Ramble on Sunday 5th Jan. Our venue was somewhere new for most of us; Glimp’s Holm – familiar to anyone travelling to/from Burray, but rarely explored.

We started by a wander along the sandy beach facing Weddell Sound, examining the strand line and the interesting geology; then headed across the road near the 3rd Barrier.

The Scapa Flow side of Glimp’s Holm resembles Hunda, with low cliffs and well-grazed maritime heath pasture.  Rabbits were in evidence and, although the sea was very choppy, we spotted several Long-tailed ducks, Cormorants, Black Guillemots and Eiders. Any Diver species remained elusive, but plenty Fulmars were present, enjoying updraughts at the cliff face.

We explored some of the structures remaining from two World Wars and remarked on the many old peat banks.  Geology of the shoreline varied from (very) red sandstone to (very) black lava deposits.

Two of our group invited us to partake of our packed lunches in the comfort of their sitting room, where we enjoyed far-reaching views over the (by now) sunny North Sea.

We then moved on for a bit of birdwatching at St Mary’s – dividing our time between the Loch and the village shoreline. Waterfowl seen included Goldeneye, Gadwall, Tufted duck, Merganser, Little Grebe and Teal. Perhaps the best sight of the day was an overhead flock of some 44 Snipe. Wonderful!

Despite not finding anything “new” or “exciting” it turned out to be a most enjoyable outing, and I am sure we will all think of Glimp’s Holm in a different way, next time we hurry across the Barriers.

Comment from Paul Huckett at 03:50 on 27 January 2015.
What a pity I've only just found your site. We visited the Orkneys last year from Australia. We are keen members of our local field naturalist club and the local BirdLife Australia branch as well. We did enjoy our time on your islands and intend to return in 2016 . We were in raptures at some the scenery and wild beaches. A walk with locals would have been so much better though .Maybe next time ? I'll bookmark your page now ..cheers Paul Huckett
Comment from Jenny at 21:33 on 11 February 2015.
We hope you'll join us next time you're back. We should have a Facebook page very soon too.

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