A powerful image, the scavenger squad bare-picking the bones of dead lambs. I have noticed that crows, normally black as pitch, tend to have grey capes cast about their shoulders further east in Europe. I was therefore surprised to find a mention of such a grey mantle carrion-cleaning a Scottish island.

‘Then come the ravens from the sea cliffs, and the hooded crows, the ubiquitous grey-mantled scavengers, and by nightfall there is nothing to show for those slow months in the womb but white skeleton and a scrap of soft, soiled fleece that seems no bigger than a handkerchief.’

 

Source: Gavin Maxwell, Ring of Bright Water (London: Penguin, 1974), p. 26-27

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