6 September 2020

· Anglesey ·

Down to the rocks first thing, the early sun sparkling on the sea in that special way it does. I watched first one and then another yacht sail away from the village in the general direction of Puffin Island and the Menai Straits. I knew there was a good photograph in there somewhere, so I kept snapping away until I got one.

Sailing away

Late morning, took our customary first-day’s walk north along the coast. Part of the coastal path was closed due to a landslide, so we had to take a diversion along the road. There was far more people about than usual, presumably on account of their having to reschedule their holidays due to the pandemic. Glorious weather. Cormorants and shags drying their wings in the sun on the island. Distant gannets.

Towards Lligwy

We walked along the headland as far as the pebble beach where Mum found fireflies when she was a little girl. People had been stacking stones all along the shore. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s just a bit of harmless fun, but I think beaches look best when they haven’t been ‘improved’ by people feeling the need to express themselves. Still, I suppose pristine normality will be restored, come the next storm.

Back down to the rocks after lunch. As I sat on my favourite rock, I had a visit from an eponymous rock pipit. It was remarkably well camouflaged among the stones. I idly watched what I initially took to be a curlew flying towards the island, but something about its jizz made me question my assumptions. As it sped determinedly towards its intended destination, my binoculars revealed it to be a peregrine falcon! What sort of nature writer mistakes a peregrine for a curlew?! My sort, apparently. I followed the peregrine until it became so small I lost it. I assumed it was intending to launch an attack on the birds on the island, but there was no commotion, so it must have been heading off around the headland.

Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is currently working on a book about looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes.Website · Newsletter · Mastodon · Facebook

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