This morning on Eriskay Island we heard (and a few of us, with a great deal of patience saw) the elusive corncrake. A quail sized bird, the corncrake has a distinctive, oft heard song. However, due to its habit of keeping low in the vegetation (it prefers meadows and grassland) and moving slowly, this shy creature is rarely seen. One field guide describes the corncrake's behavior as "skulking".

Later in the day, on Iona, we stopped at the remains of the nunnery. Viewing these strikingly beautiful ruins, we could only imagine what we might have seen and heard had we been here when the Augustinian nuns resided here.

Constructed of pink granite from the nearby island of Mull, the complex was started during the early part of the thirteenth century. Additions were made over the next few hundred years. By the seventeenth century, the nunnery was no longer active and began to give in to the wear and tear of the ages. Today, the vestiges are lovingly cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Flowers add color and cheer to the cloister. Others, such as these ferns and this wild thyme have taken residence in the walls with no help from anyone.