Bass Rock

DSCF1092.JPG My birthday outing this year, at my request, was a boat trip from the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick to the Bass Rock. It’s one of those things I’ve always sort-of wanted to do, and now seemed a good time to get on with it. Particularly since we’ve been seeing quite a lot of the Bass Rock recently, albeit from a distance on a clear day from Blackford Hill. Weather determined that the trip should take place a few days before the actual birthday – sunshine and a clear blue sky being more conducive to a good time than the forecast high winds and thunderstorms.

DSCF1123.JPG It was, in all respects, a lovely day. We saw guillemots, kittiwakes and tens of thousands of gannets. Sadly the puffins and fulmars had already departed for the season. I was able to field test my new binoculars (present from Dee) for the purpose for which they were intended (which is not for following the antics of the military training units in the field behind the house, a practice for which I could quite possibly be arrested and held without charge or limit of time). The binoculars gave me a splendid close view of the world’s largest colony of nesting gannets (quite close enough – there is a woman in North Berwick who keeps rescued young birds in her garden and the smell of them would knock you backwards at ten paces). The trip guide was informed and interesting. She has to make regular landings to rescue gannets that have got themselves stuck on the path to the lighthouse, and are not capable of moving ten meters to the left or right where their path to the sea would be clear. Lovely birds, but a bit stupid apparently. Watching them wheeling mesmerisingly overhead in their thousands was quite an experience. Dee took loads of pictures – here’s a selection.

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