Saturday, 20 April 2013

Late spring

With all of the bad weather, spring is so late this year. I was in Wales recently, and hardly saw any seabirds - even where I'd expected to see them based on friends' experiences. Places where I know there's lots of nesting birds had none, yet I was sure there had been some fulmars, guillemots, etc at Bullers of Buchan in Aberdeenshire a few weeks ago, so the birds had certainly been starting to reinhabit the cliffs then.

Last weekend we set off for Troup Head, one of our regular visiting spots, to see if the gannets had started nesting yet. There were some - but not many yet. I'd have expected a few more for this time of year,  but given teh late spring the numbers probably weren't too bad. At least they were there, and not washing in dead on beaches as has been happening with puffins at places like Balmedie.

There were big rafts of fulmars just offshore. These ones were forming ever-changing patterns as they were carried on the swells.

It was sunny, but extremely windy on top of the cliffs, and we couldn't sit at our favourite 'viewing spot' as it wouldn't have been safe.

Instead we moved further along the coast and found some shelter behind some gorse, where we could both enjoy the coconut smell of the gorse, and the clear views along the coast towards Pennan and Fraserburgh.