Tag Archives: Gibraltar Point

Day153

It’s actually day 154 because I’m late again. And I’m going to talk about  Day 138. That seems to have been 16 days ago now, how time flies.

We went to Gibraltar Point, as I said, and had tea and cake in the visitors’ centre. It is quite new and has extensive views of saltmarsh. OK, that’s not really selling it, is it? Saltmarsh is dull stuff in quantity. You can’t see the sea and even the masts of boats moored in the creek don’t add much interest. The whale bones are slightly interesting, but we’d seen them before. The framework is new but the bits of dead animal are much the same as they were last time I saw them, just arranged as a sculpture instead of being laid out on the grass.

Cup of Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, we had tea and cake. The tea was good and the cake was better. Julia had elderflower and something cake, I can’t actually remember what the something was, though it was additionally decorated with flowers. I had chocolate and cherry. There were several juicy cherries in the slice, which was pleasantly chocolatey without being overpowering. Both were nice and moist and were of satisfactory size.

Chocolate and Cherry Cake

I should have written it all down before my memories began to fade, so sorry about the vague nature of the review. We ate inside, but you can eat on the balcony too. If you eat outside you don’t get people blocking your view, which is what happened to us when a couple came and sat at a table on the balcony. I had been looking at miles of dull saltmarsh when suddenly the view was replaced by expanses of sunburn and a big straw hat. There were other clothes too, but I forget what they were like. Garish, I do recall. And not big enough.

Elderflower and Something cake

Day 138 (Part 2)

“It’s a Wheatear.” said the elderly gent with all the gear (who may actually have been younger than me). He was right, it was a Wheatear, and he was standing about ten yards away from it. There was absolutely no need for him to walk any closer, as he was already about forty yards closer than me. He had binoculars and I had my eyes. As I pointed the bird out to Julia he spooked it and scared it away.

I like Wheatears and would have liked to get a better view. I was not pleased. Fortunately it bobbed up again and we were able to view it properly. This time the elderly gent, who may well have heard what I said about him earlier, just stood and watched.

Wheatear

After five minutes of bobbing about and displaying the white rump from which it gets its name (it’s from the Anglo-Saxon “white arse”) It flew away. Fortunately, I manged to get a few shots.

The whalebones we have seen before were still there, but now mounted in a framework to make them into a sort of sculpture. It’s probably better for them than just lying on the grass, like they used to do.

There were a lot of blue butterflies out in the yellow flowers. Can anyone recognise the flowers from the photos? I’m rubbish with flower ID.

As an interesting sidelight – the Trustpilot photos for Gibraltar Point contain some great photos, but unfortunately contain several that include rocky outcrops, summer clothing and Barbary Apes – this is Gibraltar, and not Gibraltar Point. The two things are very different.

This is written on Day 139. I will now write a post for Day 139 and in the near future will write about the cake at the4 tearoom. I may even reflect on my dietary sins of the day. But then again, I may not.

Whale bones Gibraltar Point

New Building Gibraltar Point

Old Building Gibraltar Point – I first visited this in 1965. Has it changed? Well, it seems a lot smaller  . . .

Yellow Flower Gibraltar Point

Yellow Flower Gibraltar Point

A Day at the Seaside with Fish and Chips

We went to the seaside today. So did a few other people, but we had chosen our day well and there were no crowds. We went to Sutton on Sea for lunch (yes – fish and chips) and Skegness in the afternoon where we had sugared ring doughnuts. After that we went to Gibraltar Point and saw a few birds.

Cod and Chips – slightly strange perspective

After twelve months of staying inside my legs are not as good as they could be and my enjoyment at being outside was slightly constrained by the persistent idea that I should avoid people. I have also developed a habit of looking at the fuel gauge with sorrow as we seem to have used a month’s fuel in just one tip. All in all, it was not a trip of unalloyed joy and it may be a while before I really start to enjoy myself again.

I took the small camera today and missed the reach of the longer lens on the big camera (look at me being all technical) but didn’t miss the effort of charging up all the batteries. I really must start using the “new” camera as I’ve had it for over 12 months and haven’t yet used it. The rechargeable batteries for the big Olympus are all unreliable these days, which is why I use the small one for work and decided to take it today. That one isn’t holding a charge particularly well, but it’s better than the other one. Twelve months of lockdown seems to have finished off all my rechargeable AA cells.

Starling Sutton on Sea – ruching about.I managed to take several shots of the back ends of quickly moving starlings

High points were the delicious cod and chips from the Dolphin, still open as a takeaway, and a couple of birds – a dabchick at Gibraltar Point and a curlew which Julia spotted on the golf course. We went back to look at it, and it obliged by flying a in a few circles before leaving to get some privacy.

Julia taking photo at Gibraltar Point – with my knees I have to do that sort of thin using the zoom lens. I’d never get up.

Dabchick and its lunch

It’s going to take a bit of getting used to, but I am sure I’ll start enjoying days out again. It’s worth it for a dabchick.

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire - dramatic setting

One Tree, Four Photos

The featured image shows a tree at Gibraltar Point yesterday. I have used the “Dramatic” setting, which could easily be labelled “Melodramatic” as it always reminds me of the words “It was a dark and stormy night…”

The one below is the one my camera took with its normal setting. Having just checked it I see that “normal” means it’s set for fluorescent lighting (which is what I use when taking pictures for eBay. This may account for the slightly lifeless colours I have been noting recently will dull weather.

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire - normal setting

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – normal setting

The next one is the same tree, and the same photograph as above, but with the computer’s “auto correct” setting applied.

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire - auto correct setting

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – auto correct setting

I’m not clear what it actually uses for reference. In this case it hasn’t made a lot of difference. I have tried it on other photos at times and it does make a considerable difference, but I didn’t think to save original copies to compare the two. I only actually started thinking about this a few minutes ago when I auto corrected a couple of beach photos, which seemed to consist of moving them from Lincolnshire to California – the difference in sea, sand and sky were that significant. It did not, however, change any of the subjects into youthful, bronzed lifeguards, as you will see when I eventually use the photos.

I did, as you may guess, take three photos for use in a blog post, the fourth is an afterthought. The fourth uses a setting called Pop Art, which brings all the colours out and always reminds me of a 1970s colour postcard. I have used it before with some posts, mainly when I’ve been at the seaside.

I’m sure the postcards that used this colouring were labelled Photochrom, but I’ve just looked it up and found that it was a completely different process according to Wikipedia, so I may be getting confused.

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire - Pop Art setting

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – Pop Art setting

Personally, I like the stormy picture, as it suits the skeletal tree, and I like the Pop Art setting as it reminds me of a day at the seaside. From the point of view of it just being a photograph with no context, either of them are reasonable tree photos.

From the documentary point of view, neither are accurate – there was no storm and the day was not that bright and sunny.

However, it was a bit brighter than the other two settings imply, which might be partly down to me having the camera adjusted for fluorescent light.

Having started off to compare a few camera settings I’m now starting to wonder if any photograph is reliable, particularly with so many ways of manipulating photographs being available.

How long, given the current state of technology, before somebody comes up with an app that inserts Elvis Presley into a crowd scene every time it detects more than twenty faces in the photo?

Or even better, inserts a photograph of Derrick  J Knight holding a gherkin – we could call it the Where’s Wally? App. (That’s an in-joke for regular readers of Derrick, who has introduced the slang term wally into the culinary vocabulary of a wide range of his WP readers.)

 

Sea Buckthorn

Tuesday, and a Departure from My System of Simple Titles

Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

We went to the coast today, it was warm and pleasant, though a touch crowded in places. Our route took us through North Lincolnshire to avoid the roadworks round Lincoln. We eventually arrived in Chapel St Leonards, thinking of toilets. There was a queue, and it was a bit crowded to we went to Sutton on Sea, which was also queued out and crowded. Eventually we found toilets in Alford which was not crowded, being a traditional sleepy market town, though there was still a queue for the toilet as they only allow one person in at a time.

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – it is scratching the side of its head.

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Thomas Paine served as a customs officer in Alford. (The linked article has interesting information, though some of the syntax is slightly irregular).

Skegness was also crowded so we carried on to Gibraltar Point. The main car park was crowded, so we went to the smaller one and had a picnic under the pines before walking in the marsh and taking a few photos. Julia walked more than I did – I sat in the hide trying to get some duck photos.

We saw a good pincushion gall and plenty of berries – hawthorn, sea buckthorn and rose hip. If old wives are correct it will be a bad winter, but they aren’t always right. I’m sure the berries  have more to do with the summer weather than the coming winter.

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

I couldn’t find a dragonfly to pose for me, though several flew past and several grasshoppers lurked modestly amongst grass stems which prevented decent photos.  I did manage a few shots, including sky and water, which tend not to move when you press the button, unlike ducks.

On the way back in the dark we narrowly missed a female roe deer that bounced out of the hedge in front of us. There are plenty of dead deer poems (Google it if you don’t believe me) of which this is probably the best known. Due to me being alert and equipped with new brake pads the world has been deprived of another.

 

Time goes by

Sorry, this is one of those posts that runs contrary to the nature of time. After telling you about the visit to Gibraltar Point I still had plenty to tell, and was going to post a second installment on Wednesday.  However, as you know, I had a lucky escape yesterday, (or a frustrating waste of time, depending on point of view), and wrote about Carsington Water.

I could have written about my view of the National Health Service, but why bother. They waste enough of my time without me going over it all again.

So, going back in time two days, imagine yourself standing on a windswept saltmarsh, with just a visitor centre, a car park and some bits of whalebone for company.

 

There’s no explanation with the whale bones, they are lined up and left on the grass. I’m assuming that it hasn’t been done by the person responsible for grass cutting. These could be from the 1985 whale, they certainly look old enough and the size seems right. However, there are a lot of dead whales knocking about on that part of the coast when you start looking at the links. Mass strandings and art installations are all part of the story, and according to this report a sunfish and blue shark were also washed ashore in 1998.

The first birds we saw, whilst walking back to the car, appeared in a big noisy flock, flying between trees. They were against the light and just looked like tubby brown birds. We didn’t have the telescope with us (no more will be said on that subject, as Julia is of the opinion that I mentioned it enough on Tuesday) and we couldn’t get a good look with the binoculars. I couldn’t even get a decent photograph, though we did manage to see streaked underparts, white face markings and black breast markings.

I haven’t seen Corn Buntings for a while, but that’s what they were. In addition they were very vocal (a song described as “jangling keys” in the book) and (biggest clue of all) there was a flock of 40 Corn Buntings recorded in the sightings book.

It was a good start to the day, which got better when we drove to the other car park and heard the call of waders. Two curlews flew over as we were standing by the car deciding which way to go. That made the decision easier.

In the first hide, after mentioning that things would have been better with a telescope (I’m reporting what I said, here, not actually commenting on People Who Forget Your Telescope) we immediately saw a variety of birds, which became better when two avocets flew across to join an assortment of dots in the distance. The dots proved to be more avocets (23 in all, when we managed to count them) though, due to lack of telescope, we had to move hides to complete the count.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Avocets, Canada Goose and Cormorants

There were other birds about, including (on the other side of the road) a male Goldeneye that kept diving just as I tried to take the photo and a pair of mating Mallards. I would normally have allowed them some privacy but the fact they disappeared underwater completely several times made it more more interesting. By the time I got round to using the video button they stopped and swam away. It’s quite clear that Mallard drakes aren’t gentlemen.

There was a lot to see, and we saw quite a lot of it. However, there is still a lot more to see so, as with everywhere we go, we will be going back.

We went home the long way round, but that’s a story for another post.

Gibraltar Point

No, it isn’t as far as it sounds, just a trip to the coast near Skegness. That’s 81 miles. The proper Gibraltar is 1,611 miles away and too far for a day trip. It’s a nostalgic trip. I first visited it with school 50 years ago. Twenty years ago we took the kids. Now we do it for fun. Of course, Visitor Centre and windmills weren’t there in the old days.

Nor was the bagged dog excrement left neatly by the side of the centre.

Here are a few shots of the day – more will follow later, with more details.