Over the past couple of weeks we have encountered an assortment of wildlife. These are only our interactions and we will need to do a bit more research (definitely not entirely accurate). We will start with the most popular and end with the animals too elusive to be photographed.
Thousands of sheep, sheep when you wake up, sheep on the way to the bathroom, and sheep poop everywhere. For the most part these are just your run of the mill white sheep, but there are multiple breeds of sheep on the island. We are not entirely familiar with all the different breeds, but we have heard them referred to as black sheep, black face sheep (not joking), horned sheep and whatever the four horned demonic sheep pictured below is. But most importantly, this is the season all of the lambs are born and they are seriously cute.
There are two breeds of highland cows on the island that we have run into. The first is just your standard brown cow and they live on our side of the island. On the North end is your emo, long haired, slightly cuter, also brown highland cow.
Where there are sheep there are sheep dogs. Every farmer has them and we had the pleasure of hanging out one afternoon with Russ (one blue, one brown eye).
Not native to the island but a neighbor has 4 piglets. The farmers kids were quick and eager to show us the pigs. They hopped the electrical fence and we followed suit and spent an afternoon drinking cider and chasing pigs.
There are actual wild goats on the island! And it’s clear they run the show.
We are told two eagles live between the islands. A local man we met at a coffee shop told us the differences and what to look for. The first is a white tailed eagle with a wingspan of 3.5 meters that is quite similar to an American bald eagle. Then there is the Golden Sea Eagle that stands over a meter tall and doesn’t exactly fly but soars to save energy, which is important for differentiating the two. We have yet to see either.
The smaller islands surrounding Kerrera are known for sunbathing seals. I (ellyn) wanted to get a closer look, so naturally I canoed about 30 minutes into the ocean to get a peek. Everyone says seals are like dogs of the sea, too friendly and very curious. This is absolutely terrifying when you are in a small canoe, in the ocean. They just swim up and start popping up around you but I got my view and quickly paddled away.
Only one encounter with a weasel but a good one. I (Ellyn) was in the barn grabbing some supplies when I turned around and found a freshly dead bird. A little thrown off (How did I not notice this before?), I took a closer look. Out of the rubbish a brown weasel, roughly the same size of the bird, flew out and snatched up his prized kill. Martin informed us that these are viscous little rodents. We watched a video from the previous year that he captured of brutal fight between the two of them right in the Tea Garden.
Not seen but certainly heard. There are a few infamous stories surrounding the foxes on the island but so far no encounters in our time here.
Of course various uneventful animals roam the islands too – rabbits, mice, birds, insects, spiders, and more… I assume.