Tag Archives: puffins

Scone Chronicles XXI

It’s a bit late, but if we go back a while I can pull in a very nice afternoon snack and re-use some Puffin pictures.

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Puffin at Bempton – Sad-Faced Clown Contemplating a Life Devoid of Eccles Cakes

At the end of our second trip of the year to Bempton Cliffs we decided to see if there was room at the cafe. It had been quite crowded on the first visit but was slightly better this time, despite the presence of two coaches in the Car Park.

I just suggested a cup of tea, and asked a lady if we could share her table. As a result, my conscience is clear. It was Julia’s idea to buy the Eccles Cakes, and all the damage done to my weight control plan is a direct result of her dietary delinquency.

 

I like Eccles Cakes. They are available in supermarkets all over the country and they are crammed with dried fruit, sugar and fat. As they have dried fruit they must be full of fibre and vitamins too. What’s not to like?

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Puffins at Bempton – eyeing Up my Eccles Cakes

My all time favourite is the Sad Cake. My grandmothers made Sad Cakes. They are like Chorley cakes but more pastry and less fruit. The Chorley cake link includes information on Sad Cakes. I used to make them when we visited. I also used to make Rock Buns. I was quite handy in those days. I really must start baking again.

Eccles cakes are probably more palatable but sometimes it’s the association rather than the actual food that makes things a favourite.

There are many variations on the fruit, flour and fat theme. These include Welsh Cakes, Shrewsbury Cakes and Blackburn Cakes. To be honest, despite having lived in Blackburn I’d not heard of that one until this evening. It was a footnote on one of the links and is, it seems, stewed apple in a pastry case. Sounds like a pasty to me.

Anyway, the tea was good, the Eccles cakes were good, the company was good, the clifftop sea breeze was good and the Tree Sparrows and Jackdaws were fun to watch. A Jackdaw can fit a lot of bread in its beak. Five big pieces torn of the edges of sandwiches by the kids on the neighbouring table.

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Jackdaw at Bempton Cliffs

 

Has It Really Been So Long?

We’ve been back to Bempton Cliffs. It was busy, it was full of people with dogs and there were quite a lot of Puffins about.

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Puffins at Bempton Cliffs

I like Puffins.

I’m not so keen on crowds.

And I think that dog owners should have to pass a test before being allowed out in public. I had to wait at the entrance to the visitor centre as two pairs of dogs  faced off. I’ve been forced off paths and tripped several times too.

Anyway, here are some photos.

More Pictures from Bempton Cliffs

There are other birds apart from Puffins at Bempton – here are a few, though they aren’t quite as photogenic as Puffins.

And a few more.

Finally a few shadow selfies, because the Devil finds work for idle hands.

Oh, alright then. And a Puffin.

Bempton Cliffs and the Truth About Puffins

It was a nice day at Bempton, being pleasantly sunny and with a nice breeze. There were dozens of people about, many of them wearing jackets and a lot of them wearing shirts, hats, shorts or trousers of various hiking wonder-fabrics.

Me? I had a ten-year-old shirt on, with the sleeves rolled up in casual manner. Julia noticed that the edges are starting to wear through, so I’ve been banned from wearing it again.

I had my normal trousers on. I was just getting where I wanted to be, with seven pairs of identical navy blue cargo trousers when Julia bought me two pairs of khaki for my birthday. At one time all my trousers were khaki, but I changed to dark blue as they are more serviceable for a man with a bladder problem.

They are also better for funerals.

Khaki, I feel, is a bit frivolous for a man my age.

I think it’s a woman thing, having all your clothes different. I’m quite happy for them to be all the same; it cuts down on the chances of making a bad fashion choice.

Women also prefer, it seems, clothes where the buttons match, the colours aren’t faded and the edges aren’t fraying. As indicated above, we had quite a discussion on this subject.

Then we moved on to my hat. That was not a comfortable conversation either.

The reports of hundreds of Puffins on the cliffs and hundreds more at sea proved to be an exaggeration. There were two burrows where birds had been seen flying in and out, and we spotted three Puffins out at sea, though one did dive and disappear within a couple of seconds of being spotted. They are like that.

Fortunately I’d been half-expecting this, as it was what had happened last year, so we weren’t particularly disappointed.

The two we saw at sea were quite cute, so it wasn’t a wasted day.

Anyway, even without Puffins, a day on the cliffs with my wife and a decent breeze is never wasted. There were other birds, a number of flowers and a seal eating a massive fish while gulls tried to steal it.

I’m not sure what sort of seal it is – apparantly being grey isn’t a sign that it’s a Grey Seal. You need to look at the nostrils. It was in the sea, I was on top of a cliff – I was struggling to see the head, let alone the nostrils. Anyway, the nostrils are situated quite close to the teeth so I’m prepared to exist in ignorance. When you go to Donna Nook they warn you about the teeth.

I’m afraid I didn’t do well with the photographs – there is no excuse apart from lack of enthusiasm. I just couldn’t seem to get things right.

 

Part Three follows…

Evening and Annoyance

It’s not been a productive evening.

I  bought two lots on eBay last night and both transactions have turned complicated. One is my fault because I forgot to press a button and sent my home address instead of the shop address. I tried to alter this by email later but the vendor had already organised the post and sent it amazingly quickly. He has now apologised three times for what is actually not his fault, as I keep trying to tell him.

The other is having problems with the address too. Despite me confirming the address he still says he is confused. I think that’s because the system allows me to use a delivery address but shows my home address too. He either cannot handle ambiguity of thinks I’m embarking on a major fraud for £46. I’m not sure which. All I know is that I’ve had to write to him twice tonight (so far) trying to sort it out.

It’s not easy writing polite emails as there’s always the possibility of causing accidental offence, even without the added problem of being irritated, having connection problems and wanting to plan tomorrow’s trip.

Then I wiped off an entire answer by accident and had to do it again.

And I had to double check some auction bids I sent in haste this morning. I bid too much for something but I’ll let it stand as I hate cancelling bids and messing people about.

Number Two son did his final exam this morning. The landlord had chosen this day to decorate the room and wouldn’t delay to allow for a more relaxing lead up to the exam. When he returned in the afternoon they had also replaced his bed. They had, however failed to empty the storage drawer in the old one and had taken all his shoes away.

Idiots.

Julia is trying to watch The Woman in White on BBC i-player but it’s not going well. We appear to lack bandwidth, despite paying an arm and a leg to BT every month. She couldn’t watch it last night as we went out for curry.

I have to cook tea now.

I suppose I’ll probably burn it.

Tomorrow we are going to Bempton Cliffs to see Puffins. Looking at what happened last year I’m worried we might not see many. Fingers crossed.

And, as I try to find Puffin photos the system has seized up again. I really must write to WordPress. For Puffin photos you will need to use the last link.

The featured image is just plucked from stock at random. I wanted something calming with blue sky a fresh green trees.

Spring is Coming

After a long run up, much delay and a couple of false starts it looks like we have achieved a lasting Spring.

There are many more things to see than the pitiful few I have managed here, but for now this will have to do. I’m sure there will be more soon, as I’m feeling quite sprightly.

Yes, today I’ve been out and about without my stick. I haven’t been far because my day involved a lot of packing for eBay, lunch with Julia, decluttering, blogging and making soup.

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Pansies in the Mencap Garden

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A Robin getting ready for Spring

It’s amazing how good you can feel after a bit of sunshine.

We’re now planning our day out on Wednesday.

And soon it will be time for a trip to Bempton.

I’m now wondering about bringing two of my favourite themes together and having Puffins as pallbearers. I’ll have to lose some weight before that becomes a realistic plan.

 

20 Questions

I was just catching up on my reading when a mish-mash of followed links took me here. I thought it seemed interesting so I decided to have a go at it myself.

Do you have a nickname? No. I’m sometimes the target for abuse from family members, particularly my wife and children, but have no permanent alternative name.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would you be? I like the Fens, but they can be a bit breezy and the windchill factor is no joke in winter. I’d still like to live in the Fens from April to October, because I like the large skies and the flatness, but would like to live somewhere warmer for the rest of the year.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? If I told you that then it wouldn’t be one thing most people don’t know about me.

If you could have dinner with one person living or dead who would it be? I’d quite like to have dinner with Siegfried Sassoon, but I’m not certain he’d care to have dinner with me. The Honourable Galahad Threepwood would be a suitable alternative.

What is the one food you will always order when you go out to eat? Scampi. I like scampi. Not exactly sure what it is, but I like it. I also like calamari. It’s possible that I just like fried food with lemon juice.

I’m also very fond of Little Chef Olympic Breakfasts, but they will become extinct this year as the last Little Chefs closes so I’m going to settle for scampi.

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Olympic Breakfast

If your mother could cook for you again what do you wish she would make? Roast dinners – mine never come close to tasting as good as hers did.

Do you have any regrets? Yes, but I try not to waste time thinking about it. Learn from it. Move on.

What is the one possession you would grab in a fire? My trousers. After that I would, of course, ensure that Julia was safe.

Do you work? I’ve just started the new job, working in a shop full of collectables. It’s so much fun it hardly counts as work.

Can you play a musical instrument? No, I have no musical talent whatsoever. I have abused the piano, trumpet, euphonium, mouth organ and ukulele at various times but never produced anything approximating to music.

What would your children be named if they didn’t have the names they have now? I’d go for a simple numbering system. So much easier, and no need to worry about fashion or family names.

Do you have pets? We had two cats. They lived to be 20 years old then died a year apart. For three months after that I still kept seeing cat shaped things out of the corner of my eye.

What is your major fear? A world shortage of cheese.

Do you have a life motto? No. I’m too boring.

What is one thing on your bucket list in life that seems the furthest stretch for you? I don’t have a bucket list. See above.

What would be your perfect day? A day out with Julia watching Puffins at Bempton Cliffs, followed by prawn sandwiches and cake at Mrs Botham’s tea shop in Whitby. We’ve done it several times and it can’t be bettered.

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Puffin – Bempton Cliffs

If you were an animal what would you be?  A cat. It’s not a big stretch as I sleep a lot and can’t be trusted around unguarded food.

Is there something you would not eat under any circumstances? Beetroot.  This isn’t a preference, for some reason it activates my gag reflex and I literally can’t eat it.

Favorite dessert? Syrup sponge with custard (often wrongly called treacle sponge), though it’s hard to ignore the comedy potential of spotted dick.

Anything else you want to say? For a look at the original post visit koolaidmoms at this link. Have a go yourself!

 

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 in 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.

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head is a chalk outcrop on the Yorkshire coast. It is the site of the UK’s oldest complete lighthouse (dating from 1669), which is built completely of chalk.  It is also a site with an impressive variety of seabirds, plants and chalk habitat.

We haven’t been there for over 10 years, and it’s a good place for puffins so we thought we’d make the North Landing our first stop on the coast today. We were rewarded by a small flock of Puffins on the sea and several more on the cliffs. The photos were small and hazy but we got better ones later at Bempton, so will add them to that post.

I was luckier with close-ups of insects.

I also saw an optimist staring out to sea, and a wooden statue of a smuggler.

It started off overcast and hazy, but became warmer and sunnier as we sat there. Well, I sat, Julia walked down to the shore.  You can see this from the brightness of the later (insect) photos and I could also tell from the sore feeling on the top of my head, which is a lesson to all bald men.

Looks like I’ve missed another day (it’s now 00.17 on Thursday) – sorry about that. I really must try harder.