23 December, 2018

Life, The Universe, and Seawatching

Yes, a rather philosophical title, and indeed a rather philosophical mood on the Solstice, as I ambled down post-sunrise to do a little hopeful seawatching from The Steps.

Sun peeks out from behind stonking great shower

Or Step, as it turned out.

You see, erosion happens, and indeed had very thoroughly happened to my pet seawatching spot. The whole shelf I rest both feets and - more importantly - tripod on was now lying smashed and broken down below...


Grass clumps along former surface,
brown staining where there was rock...

But enough of my woes [for now]. The wind was west enough that I wasn't blown away, so I made do a couple of metres further along.

And there were birds. Auks [about 50/50], Gannets, and Kittiwakes were moving in reasonable numbers, with little pulses of Fulmars, too.

In the two hours I gave it, I also saw 3 GND, 2 RTD [adult and 1w together] - all divers went into the Bay - and 2 Bonxies.

Cue blobs!

Great Northern

I have shots of the other two [the RTs were outside the Ore and the Sun was out], but I'll show some mercy.


Typical scope view of distant bird;
"Skua! Looks like a Bonxie."

Speaking of blobs..

More Guillemots than last week
[How many can you see?]

275+ on ledges alone.

Closer to,

Gannets feeding to the NE

Quite close in, at times

Not just Gannets, either

"You're never going to swallow that"



"Mine!" "Mine!"
"Mine! "Mine!" "Mine!"
[More seriously, observe primary tip variation]


Black-headed and Common
clustered by the outfall

Surf's up

Before we get to pretty things seen up close and almost in focus, some more badly-shot seabirds;

Looking back from IMD,
a Razorbill posed and got photobombed by a diver!
This bird wasn't in Hope Cove 20 mins earlier, and it sure doesn't look like a GND to me :)
The Raz may be a black and white blob, but you can see the distinctive capped appearance of an adult in w/pl [also the thick bill - facing right]

Right, prettier stuff.

"Is that flapjack?"

Striking a pose

Velvet Shanks going well

H. reidii

Blackening Waxcap
[no kidding!]

Heath Waxcap
Getting on a bit

Parrot Waxcap

Nice slime selfie there..!

You know what I haven't put up here for a while?

Lovely fine quartz veining


Brachiopod bottom left
[darker, on edge of brown sandstone],
coral top top right
[darker oval of very top of small coral head]

Heh heh heh

For those of you gibbering into your mince pies at the geo-horror, here's that Blackstart again to help you feel better;

Ain't he adorable?

Be Seeing You...

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