Dark Wings

Jan 7th, 2015

Dark Wings

When R and I first moved to Lochgoilhead, we were seriously impressed by the number of shells, particularly mussel shells, along the shore front road through the village. We almost though it could be otters (having seen some great videos of otters playing on Victoria Pier in the centre of Lerwick at night).

However we soon realized it was something a bit more prosaic… Perched on the telephone lines running through the village are a number of hooded crows (or ‘hoodies’ as they are known locally). And all along the lochside are beds of mussels which are exposed when the tide is out (Loch Goil is a sea loch and tidal). So the problem for this intelligent member of the corvid family is how to extract the delicious food from the closed shell.

The solution for the Lochgoilhead hoodies is to pick the mussels from their beds, fly up high with them and drop them onto the road. They can then swoop down and fly off with the cracked shell to consume the contents at they leisure, or simply remove the contents and leave the shell on the road.

So not otters but quite entertaining to watch them….

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