their confused screaming…

“their confused screaming scarcely distinguishable from the seething of the ocean.”

Quote from the Victorian bird book.  This was a description of the mad cacophony at a breeding ground, much like what can be experienced on Rathlin in June-July.

I love the ominous meanings that can be gleaned from such a description.  In fact it reminds me of a news report describing the shipwreck of a vessel of migrant workers trying to get to Italy from Libya which washed up on the coast of Lampedusa (Sicily).  The locals could hear the screaming of the people as they drowned.

That turned my blood cold.

There is a particular point heading down the concrete path to the West Light on Rathlin where the shelter of the cliff walkway suddenly opens out and you walk down a narrow, exposed, steep set of steps.  At the top of these steps the sound and smell in the air and the true awesomeness of the scene hits you full on.  The ‘seething of the ocean’ and ‘screaming’ birds is all part of it.  The smell is somewhat repugnant when you have a hangover.

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