Friday, 13 August 2010


Somewhere between the green and firm land of sanity and the wind whipped frenetic sea of insanity is the narrow spit of dirty ground, obsession. It's a strange place, frequented by strange people, men (mainly) who stare for long periods into that sea, searching as if looking into their very souls for answers whilst still holding a fragile foothold on the land behind them.
Above the froth and the hubris of the ocean, sirens tempt them with glimpses as they dash between the waves before hurling themselves on their silver wings into high arcing curves with consumate ease. Further out dark shapes lurk, low in the troughs, waiting to entrap the unwary and rob them of anything and everything.....

The man walking his dog, not there through choice, simply attending to his canine companion's needs, must have silently wondered what it was that dragged four, five, ten men from the warmth of their beds to sit 20m from the sea in the face of a brisk northerly bringing the lashing rain that drenched them all. He wasn't alone.

Five hours later after a poor return I was still asking myself the same question. Even after leaving and heading for the slightly less exposed cover of the Mound I had no answers. The rain and the wind offered no let-up and the Mound no birds. Soaked and cold, yet still the call of a Golden Plover and the distant views of a landing flock were enough to see me set off across a golfer- free course where the only thing driving was the rain, on the off chance there might be a Dotterel lurking in their ranks. The lack of Pringle clad pensioners drilling home the distinction between hobby and obsession every step.

Sooty Shearwater 9 north
Manx Shearwater 23 north
Great Skua 3 north
Arctic Skua 5 ish
Great Crested Grebe 1 immature south
Mediterranean Gull 1 north

others saw
Velvet Scoter 1 north
Roseate Tern 3 ish
Swift 13 (allegedly) south
Wheatear 1( flushed whilst in contemplation)

it's still out there....

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