Saturday, 12 December 2009

On the beach

No, not the excellent (but depressing) novel by Nevil Shute, just us walking on Camber Sands. As Saturday is our "day of rest", we weren't working in the wood, and thought a walk on the beach might be nice. I got some cool photos of gulls breaking shellfish open to eat, so it was well worth it! It wasn't quite sunny, but that made for a nice view:
The shingle bank has been seriously eroded by the storms a few weeks ago:
It's not just a problem for those who live on top of them - there's a drop on the other side down to Camber!

The sign warning people using kite buggies and boards where their limit is had also taken a battering:
but I think they all know what to do anyway. The wind was in the wrong direction for kite surfing today, but there were a few hardy souls with boards or buggies out braving the chilly wind on the beach.
Anyway, on to the pictures of Herring Gulls breaking shellfish open. These pictures aren't as good as I'd have liked, but there wasn't a lot of light, and my telephoto lens cost under £200, rather than £2,000... but hopefully they're still good enough to show what was going on. I took pictures of several birds doing this, and I'll mix them together below.

First, find a shellfish and take off with it:
Then get at least 20m up in the air:
Next, stall your flight, so that the shellfish drops vertically, and you don't lose it bouncing along the beach:
Then let go...
Follow it down to the ground:
Quickly, someone else might get to it first!
and then eat it:
Some of them took several drops to break, probably because it was onto har sand rather than stone, but each gull persevered until it got its reward.

Right, woodland update coming up next...


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