Thursday 24 April 2014

Great Cumbrae ~ Crocodile Rock

I love visiting Scottish islands, and Great Cumbrae was a new one for me to explore. I had read about the 'local wildlife' in the form of this crocodile, but was not quite prepared for his size and gaping jaw! The rock apparently morphed into this iconic reptile during Victorian days.

Great Cumbrae is only a short CalMac ferry ride from Wemyss Bay on the mainland. We arrived at the ferry terminal, having just missed the boat - as you can see. Fortunately the next sailing was only 30 minutes later, which gave us a chance to finish our takeaway coffees before embarking on the ten minute crossing. 

We had a glorious day on Great Cumbrae. I spotted a couple of Tysties (or Black Guillemots), birds of the auk family that we rarely see. I'm not quite sure what the one in the photo below had found to eat! The favoured Scottish name of 'tystie' is Norse in origin.

In breeding plumage

Tysties are easily identified by their flame coloured feet ... when they dive, that is!

You can see the red sandstone and the stark beauty of this peaceful island.

It proved to be a haven for birds, and the curlew's call in the wind was, as ever, an irresistible and compelling sound.

We had a splendid tea in Millport, the island's town. I can recommend the tiffin and the Mars Bar cake ... and am glad to report that we failed to see (or feel) any of the wee beasties on the cafe sign!


Naquillity said...

what a great day trip you enjoyed. love your pics especially that curlew in flight. have a great day~

eileeninmd said...

Wow, the Croc rock is almost startling..I love the Curlew shot and the Guillemots are pretty. Sounds like a lovely outing and tea! Have a happy weekend!

Margie said...

That Crocodile Rock is amazing.
Sounds like a day :)

Mary said...

Love the crock rock..LOL
That curlew photo is really outstanding. It looks like a wonderful place to go.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely, I've never been there. I love the photos of the tystie