Tag Archives: Gannets

Punctures, Poetry and Police Procedurals

Sorry, after the events of the day, which included quite a lot of activity in the shop, I went home, had a puncture, called Green Flag to change the wheel (after the debacle of a few years ago) and embarked on my usual routine of wasting time. I was napping by midnight, when I should have been blogging and am, as usual, slightly ashamed of myself. However, I will get over it. In fact, I have. When I checked my emails this morning I find I have had two poems accepted by the Frogmore Papers.

Contrast this with yesterday. Yesterday I told you about a magazine that said it would “aim to” get back to me in three months. The Frogmore Papers got back to me in fourteen days. They have been about for a while and get plenty of submissions (“over 350” this time, according to the note) so it must be hard work. I’m going to modify my words of yesterday slightly – I’m not developing an artistic temperament, I’m developing a loyalty to people who work hard and make things easy for me.

Later this morning I’m off for a new tyre – by the time I’d got off the ring road to a quiet place to change a tyre it was beyond repair. It didn’t have a lot of life left in it, so this isn’t too bad, not like the time I ruined a brand new tyre by having to run with it flat for half a mile until I could get off a busy main road.

In fact, by the magic of modern technology, I have been to have my tyre replaced, sitting outside in the sun reading a crime novel and keeping my social distance. I’m back on tartan noir. You can’t escape it these days. The books are OK, but it’s a silly name. Two languages and black tartan? Really?

Time to make lunch now, then I may try a spot of poetry and some literary criticism. Or quizzes and a nap. The course of the afternoon has not yet been decided.

Gannets

I thought I’d give you Gannets today – from Bempton Cliffs in May 2017, when the weather was better, and we were allowed to travel.

It also ties in with the tartan noir, as they have quite a lot of Gannets in Scotland, as Tootlepedal’s holidays over the years have demonstrated.

Puffins – up close and personal

After leaving Flamborough Head we drove for ten minutes and ended up at Bempton Cliffs, where we were even luckier with the Puffins. From our first viewpoint we managed to pick a couple out but someone told us the try the next one down. That proved to have some excellent views, and we didn’t even need binoculars. The blur in one picture is a blade of grass.

We also saw the usual suspects (Rock Dives, Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Razorbills and Guillemots) and there were good numbers of immature Gannets, including chicks.

As you can probably tell, the day was becoming dull again after the sunshine so we didn’t hang around too long.

We rounded off with excellent fish and chips at the Fishpan┬áin Scarborough. It’s never disappointed us yet, unlike some of the posher places we’ve tried.

We were home for 8.30 pm and exactly 12 hours later I dropped Julia off at work. She’s salvaged an old PE bench from the school skip and we restored it to live with a drop of glue and half-a-dozen screws. It’s nearly as good as new now, though there’s quite a bit of chewibg gum to dislodge from underneath.

After that it was off to the doctor for a blood test and on to blogging. Which brings us bang up to date.

More from Bempton Cliffs

Sorry about the short post yesterday, but I was a bit tired by the time we got home. At just over two hours each way it was a longish trip, but worth it because of the quality of the paths and views of the birds.

Even as we travelled up the A1, under almost cloudless blue skies, I could feel the curse of daytime TV lifting from my soul.

The sun was in the wrong position for photography, with much of the cliff being in shadow so I didn’t get many shots. Fortunately the young Gannets were relaxing in the sun and gave me plenty of chances for photography. I’d have preferred a few Puffin shots but you can only take what’s in front of you.

Gannets don’t breed until they are about five years old. The ones in the picture are around that age, as they have just about lost all their adolescent black feathers. Next year they will breed, but this year they are practising their bill fencing and preening. It’s not a bad life.

At the end of the summer they will fly as far south as West Africa.

There were other birds too, but they weren’t as interesting.

That’s a bit unfair really, but I was tired and limping and I can get quite unfair. I can also be quite short with people, as one idiot found when he wandered in front of the car in Bridlington.

We went for fish and chips in Filey and ate them on the seafront. It’s an interesting place, but I didn’t have the energy to take photos. It was a big piece of superbly cooked haddock and took a bit of eating.

There were House Martins nesting under the eaves of the chip shop.

 

Another trip to Bempton Cliffs

We went to Bempton Cliffs today. It was a testing drive after months of being virtually housebound but it has, we thought, the best paths and least walking of all the places we visit.

We only saw a couple of Puffins which flew directly into burrows, so they were probably males on the way back with food.

I cheated on the Featured Image, as the second picture shows.

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Puffin Poster – Bempton Cliffs

More to follow tomorrow but here’s a video of Gannets…

Bempton Cliffs again

We saw these beak fencing Gannets at Bempton Cliffs today. It’s part of their mating ritual. He later went fishing and came back with a gift of fish. It seemed to work, as I had to delete the ensuing video rather than become known as an avian pornographer. I reminded Julia that I bought her favourite – smoked mackerel – earlier in the week. According to her answer it seems that gifts of fish don’t have the same significance in the human world.

Some of the birds are on the cliffs, but most of the auks (including around a dozen puffins) are content to sit on the sea for the moment.

Have to be quick, as I need to post this before midnight. Here are a few other pictures.

It was a good day and the telescope came in useful for looking out to sea. Those Puffins were miles away!