Monday, 26 April 2010

Well, Hello Ermentrude .....

Have you ever poured over adoption sites of dogs, cats .... even children? That's how I found Midge and Moose when they were just a few weeks old and once I met them, it was truly love at first sight. Moose was inquisitive; Midgey mischievous. You just never know who is going to join your family. Well, yesterday, while wandering through Bridlington ( a sleepy seaside town on the East coast) I had a tummy turning, falling in love, moment and ..... "Hello, meet Ermentrude". Now, I realise she won't be every one's cup of tea, but we were definitely made for each other. What do you think? Isn't she just as cute as can be?!! I was a little mistaken by her sex initially, but now I do agree that she is a she and I am picturing her grazing in my new garden in the near future - though a friend believes she's an indoor cow. This isn't Canada you know! Eh?

So what's been keeping me busy since I got back from Canada ..... apart from sleep (too much sometimes and sadly lacking at others!)  It's 4 o'clock in the morning and I seem to be wide awake.  This just isn't right. I don't get jet lag. Ha ha ha!!  Have tried all the usual stuff - counting sheep, guided imagery, watching banal programmes on my laptop, radio, reading ..... but my brain is buzzing!  I thought I had cracked this jet lag business, especially as for my first full day at home I had planned a day out, so plenty of stimulation to keep me going.  So what did I do?  Well, apart from getting acquainted with Ermentrude and eating fish and chips, I headed to Bempton Cliffs with a friend, to do some bird watching / spotting. 

What a fantastic day. The taste of the salt in the air, the touch of the sun's rays together with the crisp sea breeze against my bare arms, the smell of the guano deposited by these thousands of birds, the sound of screams and squawks and calls from our feathered friends and the sight of these majestic cliffs seemingly alive
with an array of black and white birds perched on the most perilous of ledges.  Almost sensory overload.  Every speck of black or white or shadow on the vertical cliffs is in fact a bird.  Hard to see from the photos I know.  Some are already nesting with the odd egg on show, whilst others are still to-ing and fro-ing in their search for suitable nest making materials. 

Gannets, stunningly white with their black tipped wingtips, making these a striking bird. In places, strung across a ledge like a string of pearls. They can dive from a height of 30 m, achieving speeds of 100 km/h as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds. Didn't witness this today, but it is an exceptional sight. They are also closely related to the Boobies (little bit of school boy humour!).  Razorbills (see left and right), and Guillemots are easily mistaken for each other - well, by me, anyway!  Their short flappy wings make them appear quite comical, but not as comical as the puffin - one of my favourite birds.  I still have a lovely picture of one drawn for me many years ago by a former boyfriend! How sweet!!  With their large very colourful beaks, stubby bodies and bright orange legs - they really are conspicuous. 

Now.....onto eggs .... I don't think I have ever taken photos of eggs on two consecutive days! On the right is a guillemot's egg found on the top of the cliffs, presumably stolen by a predatory bird and eaten.   The other is a double yolk out of a hen's egg which I came across whilst cooking my tea.  I thought the egg was larger than normal but I was a little surprised to find these conjoined yolks! Mmm a 3 egged omelet! How greedy.

Exciting things happening for me right now - a new house to move into, looking for a small car, a trip to Madeira, another to Pembrokeshire ...... so much to look forward to.  I have to say that the thought of going to another airport and flying again so soon after the debacle of returning from Canada, fills me with some trepidation. I just don't want to entertain the idea of being a distressed, displaced traveller again.  So, if anyone has any control over volcanoes, volcanic dust clouds or Ryan Air - please please help me to have a trouble free journey.  Sorry Jenny if my concerns upset you.

Time to get this posted. Do tune in again soon.

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