Sometime it was the place where a child would get their first wasp sting, or encounter a dreaded jellyfish, a lifeless disc of blubbering death threat lying there like a sneeze. One memorable winters day the sea froze in waves and I slipped on ice as usual, while getting a bit older meant evening barbecues there when we were on holiday.
Like the town, it hasn't changed. Only the ice cream van wasn't there, which was ironic as this October day had about the fiercest sun I've encountered all year. I got a slightly burnt face, but in the shade, it was chilly.
The sea was mirror blue and the calmest I've ever seen it. And when the tide had receded, quickly as it does in these shallow waters, the wreck of the Monreith, a two masted schooner that sank in 1900, jaggedly dominated the view.
As a child I tried to walk out to it, but ended up waist deep in mud, and alarmed at sharp sensations by my toes I turned back.
Today, as ever the rockpools were empty, but the sands were not. As the tides receded, the birds arrived, the first being a piping interloper exploring the seaweed covered rocks. "Cooooo-weeeeeeeeeeee" it called. My first curlew.
As more of the sands became exposed more piping birds arrived, the smart black and white oystercatchers with their piercing cries and brilliant red bills. How little I had noticed as a child, how I wish I could have noticed more.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.10.15
|Beautiful still day|
|This red admiral...|
|...has a very unhealthy diet|
|Tide receding. I love these beach streams|
|The wreck of the Monreith|
|Black headed gulls|
|Curlew in the seaweed|
|Gull watches wader|
|Another one further out|
|Comical looking oystercatchers|
|You often see them in that "beaks open" pose in photos|
|Feeding in unison|