It’s been a busy summer so far and showing no signs of abating in the near future. We did managed a few days close to the East Coast last weekend. Our planned trip into the woods to hear nightjars didn’t materialise due to very heave rain, so we diverted to Bempton once again. This time we were going for one particular bird – a Black Browed Albatross.
Albatrosses are birds of the Southern Oceans and shouldn’t be north of the Equator. This particular one has been around North European coasts for a few years. It was probably oringinally blown off course and isn’t wired for crossing the equator. It was a dull blustery day and there were not surprisingly a lot of birders already there by 9 am. Albert as he has been called, could be seen on a cliff edge in the distance, dwarfing 2 gannets. He launched himself off for a flight over the sea and out of sight, so we walked up to the next viewing point that had a view down the cliff. One of the other birders alerted us to him coming back towards the land. Yes we could see him, his long dark wings flapping above the waves. As he approached the cliffs he stopped flapping and simply glided towards us, then in front of us and round the headland. He appeared again riding on the wind coming up the cliff and back round. He actually flew right past us about 20 metres away as he continued his passage up and round the cliffs again and again. He was truly majestic and awe inspiring bird and we were privileged to see it so closely.
In other news, I’ve done a painting of a sprig of Weigela from earlier this year when the flowers were mainly still just buds. It’s a bit scrappy but it was a complicated bit of work, so am relatively pleased with the outcome. I also have 25 funding bids to assess so need to get my head down and get on with it. I may be a couple of weeks.