Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stac Lee

Approaching Stac Lee, every ledge appears to have a thick layer of snow and the sky above seems to be full of swirling snow flakes.

As you get closer, you are confronted by one of the natural wonders of the World. The island is completely covered in noisy gannets. A fifth of the World's northern gannets breed on these isolated blades of rock.

Gannets are large birds with forward facing eyes. They dive from about 50m above the water and can plunge deep under the surface with folded wings in search of fish.

From the side, Stac Lee can be seen to be a thin blade of rock, 172m high. It is remarkable that a party of St Kildans survived here for 9 months (through a winter). They were marooned because a small pox outbreak on Hirta prevented their fellow islanders from picking them up after a bird hunting expedition. Soay is on the horizon.

Looking from the far side of Stac Lee, back towards Dun and Hirta.