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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mizen Head

Wednesday,I went to Mizen Head, on the next peninsula South West from us, with a small group from the Rehabcare Centre in Bantry. The others would travel in the bus from Skibbereen, I was collected in the centre’s car which can take one set of wheels. I was the only one coming from North of the Mizen peninsula, with all the others coming from the Skibbereen area.
I was looking forward to perhaps spot a Chough, {Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax} the only Corvid {Crow family} beside the Raven, I have yet to encounter. At home I am bombarded each day with Jackdaws, Rooks, and sometimes Hooded Crows. Other birds seen at this beautiful spot are Gannets, and Kittiwakes.
The Sun was out and the little shower we met was kind enough to splatter the windscreen while we were driving from Schull to Mizen, leaving us high and dry for the rest of the day.
We stopped off in Schull first, meeting with the others, a little village, steeped in history and tourists. From there on we went further west to the end of the peninsula and the Land’s End of Ireland. A Jackdaw followed the car for a long time, between Schull and Goleen, the village between Schull and Mizen; flying alongside my window.
Along the little path over the steep rocky cliffs, I noticed the usual clumps of Thrift and Heather which were growing behind the high fencing, stopping anyone from climbing up or down and I had to elevate my wheels regularly to get any decent shots over the fencing of these and of the waves below us.
Even so, my biggest surprise was found on ground level where for a moment I thought we were met with something from another planet! A single stalk rose up from the ground, about 20-25cm tall, looking very fleshy, and on top was a large flower bud, starting to open up. The hood of the flower-bud had started to open up, revealing four flower ‘leaves’ which held together a mixture of what looked like to be tiny white flowers.
At the bottom there appeared another one of these buds;
The most striking was that out of the bud at the top, two tiny plants seem to be growing out of its host.

I had hoped to see a Chough, the only Crow I have not seen. A Rock Pipit was foraging in the leafy growth at the side of the path, and was not too shy among the many people walking past it on the path, and I assume it was familiar with its surroundings.
No Choughs, or any other rarer birds, only a handful of Herring Gulls, performing their avian acrobatics.
In the Shop I got myself a few small books on Ireland’s Birds/Wild Flowers and Animals, with lovely illustrations. Also I got a DVD on Ireland Seabird and Marine Life, presented by Vinny Hyland and Pat Kavenagh.
Unfortunately, a scratch at the underside means it won’t play; € 20 down the drain.
It says that it has been shown on BBC, which I might have seen, or perhaps not? I think I will contact the visitor centre about it.

My Jackdaws did not seem to notice my departure, though they will atack the food as soon as I'm gone from the window:Schull Harbour: The Mizen Head Signal Station:Choppy Waves even on a calm day: Wild Angelica Bud: Top of bud, New bud at stalk and the whole stalk:a large clump of Thrift: English Stonecrop Rock Pipit: The Herring Gulls were too fast for a good shot,

1 comment:

  1. Hey Yoke - you've finally joined the blogging community - well done.

    A great set of pictures and some good text.

    Sorry - don't know what your mystery bud is but hope you find out and let us know.


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