Winter on Holy Island, it seems, is silent save for the song of the waves and the cry of the gull. The visitors had left; the locals all seemed to be indoors. It was as if we shared the island only with the birds. Which meant, of course, that we were hugely outnumbered.
They were everywhere. Another robin, blackbirds and gulls… doves and sparrows. A posse of chickens ahead of us on the path… and we had the kestrels. And that was without the mallards, the lapwings and the heron caught on camera sneaking along the line of a fence. He obviously thought he was in stealth mode…
The place is a paradise for birdwatchers… and seals are common here too. But the fading light made it impossible to see if the movement in the waves were shadows or these creatures of the deep, and we felt that rather than watching the birds, they were watching us. We seemed to be constantly accompanied by feathered sentinels, and we went where they led and saw what they guided our gaze to see.
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