Monday 13 August 2018

Northern Holiday 2018, Post 2: St Abb's Head and Eyemouth

The beauty of St Abb's Head 

We spent a very happy day at St Abb's Head, just over the Scottish border, relaxing in the fine weather and enjoying the wildlife. There is a huge colony of Guillemots: you can see a few of them in the photo below. 

And here is a close-up, taken with my zoom at full stretch from the cliff top. 

There were Kittiwakes, too ...

I can't say that butterflies were in abundance but there were a few about despite a slight sea breeze. It's pretty hard to tell, of course, but I'm guessing the one below is a Wall Brown. 

David managed to see a Northern Brown Argus: we know because his sighting was confirmed by the reserve warden. While he was off in search of rarities, I sketched the rocks along the coast and kept an eye out for any butterflies like the one below that landed within range. I suspect it is a Common Blue, but it's hard to tell for sure ...

My cliff-side sketch ... (The painting I normally attempt is pretty abstract, and while I often do a quick sketch of a ruined abbey or castle on holiday, a rugged coastline was definitely a new challenge.)

I amy have missed the Northern Brown Argus, but while we were enjoying our picnic lunch, this lovely Painted lady touched down. That must have been about 28 June, and it remains my only Painted lady sighting of the season. Perhaps I have just not been in the right place at the right time, but I suspect there is more to it than that so I have added our sighting to Butterfly Conservation Painted Lady Map.

We returned to the National Trust for Scotland tearoom for Earl Grey and tiffin, and spotted two Yellowhammers and a Linnet as we made our way back to the cliff. 

We tore ourselves away eventually, made a brief visit to the Priory remains at Coldingham, where the DigVentures archaeology team were preparing for a talk prior to their excavation. 

No trip to this corner of the world is complete in my opinion without a detour to Eyemouth harbour with its resident seal. I believe there are several seals, but we tend to think we always see the same bubble-blowing one! 

You can see the entrance to the harbour and other views, including a smuggler's residence called Gunsgreen House, in the photos below. 


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Great collection of pictures there, those seabirds are beautiful, but messy!

Ragged Robin said...

What a wonderful day you had. I love your sketch :) It is interesting about your lack of Painted Lady sightings apart from this one - I haven't seen one at all this year.

I look forward to reading more of your holiday and seeing more photos. I've only been to Scotland twice - once as a child to Edinburgh and when our children were a lot younger we stopped for a week near Loch Insh.

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Si and Ragged Robin, for your kind comments. And, RR, we know the lovely Loch Insh countryside well as my maternal ancestors lived in the area (and emigrated to Australia from it).

Lowcarb team member said...

What a super selection of photographs.
You were lucky with the weather … mind you it has been a hot summer (too hot at times)

All the best Jan