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CAITHNESS FIELD CLUB BULLETIN
Vol. 1. No. 6. October, 1975.
More recently he will be remembered for his work on the investigation and restoration of Camster Long cairn where members have seen him at work during the summer months over the last few years. During this period he discovered new evidence on the multi-period structure of chambered tombs, and directed the reconstruction of the east end and the two adjacent chambers.
Dr. Corcoran will be sadly missed by all his friends and colleagues and not least by members of the Field Club who always looked forward to his annual visits to the County and many of whom had the pleasure of assisting him during his excavations in Caithness.
Annual General Meeting
Chairman - Mr. D. Oliver, Westerdale, Hood St., Wick.
Vice-Chairman - Mr. L. J. Myatt, 5 Trostan Road, Thurso.
Secretary - Mrs. M. Gladstone, 11 Miller Avenue, Wick.
Treasurer - Mr. B. Hughes, 101 Pennyland Drive, Thurso.
The following members of committee were also elected:- Mrs. J. Campbell, Mrs. M. Norman, and Mr. K. Butler.
At a subsequent meeting of the above committee Miss J. Ryrie, Miss J. Ramsey and Mr. C. Mackenzie were co-opted.
Meeting with Orkney Field Club.
In July three members of Caithness Field Club visited Orkney and accompanied members of Orkney Field Club on a visit led by Miss Bullard to the Islands of Papa Westray and the Holm of Papa Westray. Although the day started with thick fog the weather gradually improved and memorable visits were made
to the Knap of Howar, St. Tredwells chapel site, and the chambered tomb on the Holm of Papa Westray.
Publication Fund - a note from the Treasurer
The object of this fund would be to enable the publication of articles of general interest for sale to the public, articles such as a guide to the most important archaeological sites in the county, lists of the flora and
fauna etc. Once established such a fund would rely on the income derived from sales to the public.
To this end we invite members to donate or loan, interest free, a sum of money not greater than £5.00.
Members who assist in the establishment of this fund would be entitled to purchase publications at a little over cost price.
Please contact Mr. B. Hughes. treasurer.
In April two members of the Field Club observed a Mandarin Duck swimming in the sea at Scotland's Haven.
In June, Ospreys were to be seen - these are young non-breeding birds who spend some time feeding and then pass on.
The breeding season has generally been a good one with good weather during the period of feeding the young. There are lots of young birds about just now.
During July an immature Spoonbill spent some time on Loch Scarmclate.
It breeds mainly in the Mediterranean area and is an occasional summer visitor to these northern latitudes.
In the last week of August it was seen that the Autumn migration was under way rather earlier than usual. Small groups of Knots were sighted and there were reports of Curlew-Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper
and Little Stint. A Rose-coloured Starling was found at Wick and a Red-backed Shrike was dead on the road at Mey.
One of the interesting sightings of the season was a Kingfisher at Dunbeath seen by members of the Field Club on an outing in June.
for the survey of the Caithness population. Good progress has been made by Jimmy Gunn who has located ten sets in the parish of Latheron alone. There seem to be more of them about than was expected. Further information please to J. Gunn (Reay 205).
parts of the County. Does anyone know of previous sightings or of other sightings this year?
Canada Geese - Information Wanted.
During the past few years a flock of Canada Geese has visited Caithness each summer. It seems likely that a moult migration is being established similar to that practised by the Canada Geese from Yorkshire which visit the Beauly Firth each summer. The origin of the Caithness flock is unknown but a ringing recovery suggests that the birds may come from Warwickshire. On the other hand they may be more local in origin.
More information on the Caithness Canada Geese is required and anyone with records of sightings in the County is asked to pass details to David Glass, Brough, Dunnet.
Burial at Keiss
When the body was exposed it was seen to be clothed in a yellowish-brown coarse woollen doublet, the lower part being apparently uncovered. A length of twisted heather rope lay along the length of the body.
The body was sent to the University of Aberdeen and the clothing later to the National Museum in Edinburgh. From an investigation of the body it was found to be that of a youth about twenty years old with a minor deformity in one arm. The cause of death was uncertain.
The clothing was identified as belonging to the early 17th century and as such, is the earliest of its kind to be found in this area. The absence
of nether garments was not unexpected since if leather breeches had been worn they would probably have decomposed.
Near Kinbrace at Ach'na h-Uai, at NC827321, Mr. L. Myatt discovered a fan-shaped setting of stone rows consisting of about 70 upright stones arranged in 10 rows, about 12m length. An accurate survey of the setting was made in June by Mr. R. Freer of Glasgow.
A second rather ruinous setting of stone rows was found by Mr. B. Hughes near Skelpick, Bettyhill, at NC722574, where a total of twelve stones were observed arranged in four rows.
K. Steer: Recording Scotland's Heritage: HMSO, 1975, 18Pp., 50p. This
publication, recently received, gives an interesting account of the work of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
in Thurso Technical College by members of the Field Club on the antiquities of Caithness. The lectures will be illustrated and the topics covered will
include the Tomb Builders, the Standing Stones, the Broch People, the Early Christians and the Vikings up to the present day.
Following the popularity of the introductory course in ornithology offered last session a follow-up course will be offered commencing on Tuesday 17th Feb.
Details of these and other leisure courses are given in the new brochure of Leisure Courses to be offered in the College.
New Honorary Vice President
Sept. 18th - Wick: Miss A. Henshall: The Neolithic Passage Graves of Scotland.
Oct. 1st - Thurso. 2nd - Wick: Miss H. Munro: Caithness Folklore.
Oct. 15th - Bettyhill: Mr. L. Myatt: Mysteries of the Standing Stones.
Oct. 29th - Thurso: Prof. C. Gimingham: Plant Life - Botanical Links between Scotland and Scandinavia.
Oct. 30th - Wick: Prof. C. Gimingham: Plant ecology of Moors and Heaths. Nov. 5th - Thurso: 6th - Wick: Mr. J. Bramman. Guernsey or Jersey?
Nov. 12th - Thurso. 13th - Wick. Mr. R. Cant. The Medieval Church in the North.
Nov. 14th - Annual Dinner; Forse House Hotel.
Nov. 26th - Bettyhill: Mr. D. Oliver: Fresh water fishes of the North of Scotland.
Dec. 3rd - Thurso: 4th - Wick: Mr. D. Omand: Scenery of the Highlands and Islands.
Dec. 10th - Thurso: 11th - Wick: Mrs. E. Beaton: The Doo-cots of North-East Scotland.
Jan. 14th - Thurso. Joint meeting with S.O.C.
Jan. 21st - Bettyhill: Mr. D. Miller: Castles of the North.
Feb. 1lth - Thurso; Mr. G. Stell: Traditional Buildings of the Scottish Rural Landscape.
Feb. 12th - Wick. Mr. G. Stell: Some Rural Buildings in Latheron Parish. Feb. 25th - Thurso: 26th - Wick: Mr. I. Sutherland: Old Fishing Boats.
Mar. 10th - Thurso. Dr. N. Trewin. The Wandering Continents.
Mar. 11th - Wick: Dr. N. Trewin: Hugh Miller's Fossil Fish.
Mar. 24th - Thurso: 25th - Wick: Mr. L. Myatt: Early Christian Settlement in Caithness.
April 14th - Thurso: Annual General Meeting: Mr. L. McNally: Fur and Feather in the Highlands.
April 26th - Wick: Joint Meeting with the Wick Society.