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Looking out instead of in

14 June 2017

Hello everyone. This is my first diary entry so I will at the same time take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Vivi Bolin and I’m the Interim Ranger on St Kilda. I have already been here for three weeks and I simply can’t believe how quickly time has passed. The island already feels like home. St Kilda is familiar to me through my previous job as a wildlife guide on one of the smaller cruise boats that regularly visit the archipelago, but the angle has definitely changed. Rather than sitting in the bay looking in at the village I am now sitting in the Manse looking out.

View from the Manse on a busy day

View from the Manse on a busy day

The last few weeks have been very busy, with regular cruise ships and day boats. It certainly keeps me on my toes. There are several aspects of life here that I find very enjoyable, one of them being that every day I get to work in a place that I love. A day off work often bares resemblance to a working day in the sense that I usually go looking for wildlife (but I might skip the toilet cleaning…).

MV Berlin and piper

MV Berlin visits St Kilda on the first NTS cruise of the season

On my first day off I explored the wildflowers on the island. The weather and isolation coupled with nutrient poor soil composition ensures that we have a limited amount of wildflower species, but the ones we do have are all the more spectacular for that reason. They are hardy little things that struggle on against all the odds.

From top left: yellow iris, heath-spotted orchid. round-leaved sundew and marsh lousewort

From top left: yellow iris, heath-spotted orchid, round-leaved sundew and a white variety of marsh lousewort.

We’ve also already had both our first basking shark and minke whale for the season. They are regularly spotted by boats approaching the island, but it is a special treat for us landlubbers to actually spot them in the bay.

Every day here is different to the previous one which means that  there’s never a boring moment. And if boredom for some strange reason was to strike me I would just need to look up and take in the views, the soaring fulmars, and the rafts of puffins and boredom would fly away like a bit of sheep wool on the wind.

That’s all from the ranger for now!

The morning rush-hour commute

The morning rush-hour commute can be a killer...


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Last of the 2017's Work Parties