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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sausages and shipwrecks

Where do I start when so much has happened over the last few weeks?There's been a beach clean up at Kilmory; lots of migrant and nesting birds; emerging butterflies; a flowering plant growing frenzy; speedy wildlife gardening; a busy campsite; international volunteers and students galore; canoeing trips; the first Rum Seabird & Dolphin Experience of the year (the usual Thursday boat trip to Soay); the new Ranger Service postcard; a shearwater colony expedition up to Hallival; and sorry to say, and most certainly due to the awesome weather we've been experiencing lately, early biting midges.Yes those most beloved of Highland critters have arrived! Although they're not too bad at the moment, they're bad enough to start bugging you whilst having a well earned evening beer at the shop.It's funny how everyone forgets about them for at least seven months, then as May arrives, slowly but surely they soon become the main conversation starter down at the shop.

With such a busy few weeks, I don't really know where to start, so I'll start with the beach clean because it's conveniently at the top of the list.More on the rest later....

But first I would like to thank all who gave up their Saturday on April 21st.These were the Goddards (Rum's brand new family) or also known as Nic, Ady, Davis and Scarlet in their own right, and also Ali, Sean and Eve, Martyn, Rachel, Lisa and Corran. Also thanks to SNH for the use of the Landrovers and to the Kilmory Deer Project for the use of Kilmory.

Great work everyone, and well worth the effort as Kilmory was getting covered in plastic buoys, plastic fishing nets and plastic fishing crates.Most of this fishing gear has undoubtedly come from the Jack Abry II, the French trawler that ran aground near Kilmory on the night of the 31st January 2011 (during a storm force 8). It's still here and is still spitting its rubbish into Rum's pristine marine environment, Rum's supposed Special Protection Area.It would have been great to actually find something with the vessels name on it, but we did find the remains of this French medical kit (pictured below) and you don't have to be Miss Marpel to guess where it came from. 

Rum's biggest piece of fishing waste...the FV Jack Abry II (here to stay?)

Remains of the French medical kit

Lovely Kilmory!

Action on the day......

 Martyn starts to wonder why he went for that small piece of green netting he spotted on the surface .

Released at last...Martyn and Ady man hauling    

When it comes to hard work, the young always think they can get away with it.But not this time..Corran had to earn his lunch!

To be fair, there are many sources of plastic found in the worlds oceans (our main culprit happens to be the fishing industry), and globally it is a major environmental problem.It is estimated that over one million birds and around 100,000 marine mammals die every year from entanglement or ingestion of plastic. It is a huge issue representing a major threat to many species because plastic never biodegrades, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces and never disappears.

If you've never seen the horrors of the Pacific Trash Vortex, then please check out this You tube link .....its food for thought.


Talking of food (I should really be an anchor man eh!), the BBQ was appreciated by all as there is nothing better than a tasty sausage or two cooked out of doors after a bit of ard graft.  

Community beach cleaners 2012 

In the end it was all too much for Bonnie .. (don't worry, she's only snoozing)

We couldn't weigh the total amount collected, but it was substantial!

In the halcyon days of the island's recent past, Kilmory beach cleans were more frequent, so its nice that they've been resurrected.Although by the looks of things we probably need to organise more than one every year and not just at Kilmory, Harris is looking pretty bad also.

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