On the rocks

It’s only been two weeks, but it seems a long time since I was in Anglesey. The late queen lying in state dragged on forever, and as for what’s been going on in the political world, the least said the better.

I didn’t have to worry about that sort of stuff in Anglesey. I just sat on my favourite rock for several hours each day, gazing out to sea, waiting to see what came along. Nature waiting, I call it—I need to come up with a better term. I hope seasonal vagaries were to blame, rather than avian flu, but I saw fewer birds this year. The swallows had mostly gone. There were fewer terns—perhaps they had already headed off too. There were also fewer guillemots and razorbills. But I did see plenty of old favourites: gannets, cormorants, gulls, wheatears, rock pipits, oystercatchers, curlews, egrets. I even saw a flight of seven Brent geese—a first from my rock. The local grey seal also put in several appearances. One of the experienced anglers from the rocks swore blind it had a habit of stealing fish from his line as he reeled them in—although he said the seal was picky, and tended to ignore less desirable fish such as pollack.

Grey seal

The most unusual sighting from my rock this year, however, had nothing to do with wildlife. One evening, the local lifeboat launched. This was not, in itself, a particularly unusual event. But this time it was joined in a training exercise by a coast guard helicopter. My rock turned into a ring-side seat as they practised lowering the winchman into the speeding lifeboat. It was all rather spectacular…

Lifeboat and coastguard helicopter practice exercise

All in all, fewer birds and noisy helicopters notwithstanding, sitting on my rock doing nothing but look at stuff was as idyllic as ever. You should give it a go yourself… But you’ll need to find your own rock.

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

One comment

  1. Stephen McNamara says:

    Sounds idyllic, Richard. I could definitely have done with my own rock these past two weeks.

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