Wednesday, 24 August 2011

St Bride's Pages

"In the late autumn and winter, when the deer grass turns red, the moor is a sheet of flame under the setting sun, rivalling an English poppy field. A little later, and 'fairy curtains' of icicles adorn each peat hag, while in the early summer the acres of white bog cotton dancing over the peat bogs rival its winter beauty. It is easy to imagine St. Bride moving among the cotton with her bird, the oyster catcher, or Page of Bride, crying over her head, busy gathering those armfuls destined to be a bed for little, tired children, and causing it to flourish wherever she passes."
from: "Skye The Island and Its Legends" by Otta Swire.
In reading this beautiful description, in this fascinating book about Skye, I found out this interesting fact about another of my favourite birds. They are pretty common I think in the south west, as well as up here, but I have never seen them in such numbers as I did at Broadford. Such noisy and comical birds, colourful and full of character. I love the bright orange of their beaks, their pinkish legs and the contrast with the stylish black and white of their feathers. I suppose if they serve a saint, they should be pretty smart!

These two were having a very vigorous bath.

In this group one of the birds was hopping like he only had one leg, or one was injured.

There were at least thirty birds in this group.

I wonder what the collective name for oyster catchers is.

Nothing is a mystery these days-just looked it up here-it is a 'parcel' of oyster catchers.


Leenie said...

I've heard of the oyster catcher and I've heard of Saint Bride. However, I've not see photos of the bird. They do look very stylish in their black and white suits and yet comical with their pink feet and orange beaks.

I'm guessing St. Bride may be the same as Ireland's St. Brigid saint of art, metal craft, poets, scholars and dairy maids and newborn babies.

kimmie said...

Gorgeous photos of your time there. I love the colors. The russetts and blues. Just beautiful!

Linda Sue said...

First thing that comes to mind is receiving a parcel of oyster catchers! That would be quite thrilling opening it! AND to catch an oyster one must not be very clever- oysters are like catching a rock. Pretty birds- they look like they would be assigned to opening doors for people in front of important places.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful bird photos - I love how you can see how intent they are on catching something!

jabblog said...

I shall remember St Bride every time I see an oystercatcher now.
Skye is wonderful, isn't it? Many years ago we stayed at Portree and had fresh fish from the harbour each day.