Robins rule: on every field wall, a proud bird sings its heart out

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Got here yesterday and have nearly two weeks to enjoy the peace and quiet. Fantastic dinner in the restaurant last night - fresh-caught crab and delicious skate with hazelnuts - and a good hike along the cliffs while the sun was out this morning. The clifftop along the south-west side is extraordinary - like a stone beach set high above the sea itself, a flat expanse watered by the spray from the breakers below and unsure in itself whether it's part of the land or the sea. Fabulous bird life too - just this morning I saw ringed plover, whimbrel, a pair of shelduck, cuckoo, whitethroat and all the normal ones you would expect. Robins rule the island: on every field wall, a proud bird sings its heart out to mark its territory.
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Iffy weather these last days but then you don't come here in May planning for a heatwave. Walked round the west and north side of the island today, up to the new harbour - I hadn't realised this was already operational, no wonder the old pier looked so deserted when I wandered down there the other day. Lots of birds down on the shore line - a good flock of oystercatchers, several broods of ringed plover, turnstone, dunlin, a grey heron stalking the shallows, and a skylark Icarus-like, way, way up in the sun. Fewer mammals - just a couple of startled rabbits down amongst the rocks, and a sole seal inspecting me like a submarine's periscope from a hundred yards off the shore. Patches of seaweed the colour of clotted cream have been left to dry in the fields. The view of Inis Mor from here really shows the force of the Atlantic - a seemingly benign see has enough swell to spray the very tops of the cliffs even on a calm day, creating black funnels of wet rock like the stains of diesel trains on railway bridges.
A fine dinner in An Dun, and home up the hill in the sun and the rain and the island behind me framed in an intense rainbow.

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