Living in the wilds has it's gruesome side.
A dead Northern Bottlehead whale has been washed up on the shore nearby.
Rare in these waters it is thought to have got it's tail entangled in crabpot lines (though there are alternative theories about military exercises and sonar causing whales to suffer from decompression sickness and there has been a big exercise here lately...). It's lungs were full of water.
First word was that men in huge rubber aprons wielding big knives had been seen on a particularly narrow stretch of the single track road. Experts from the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme were on site but the carcass at almost 7 m long and on a rather inaccessible shore couldn't be lifted, thus the knives. The head has been taken for examination to The National Museum of Scotland, along with samples of stomach contents and entrails. Squid beaks. In the orange boxes.
It is an awe inspiring and very sad sight (and a truly awful smell).
We see seals, porpoise and dolphins, and I know a local boat fishes for prawns (which are sent to Spain!) and when the sea birds are diving you know there is a shoal of fish, but there is so much unknown in the waters of the loch. I did not know there were squid, and I am awestruck at the thought of creatures of this size and larger - this was a juvenile - out there in that other world by day and tonight by the light of a full moon. I wonder how far into the water the moonlight penetrates.
Do the whales look up and take note?