Sunday, 3 July 2011

Marsden and a lot of Steps.

Marsden Rock, Cliffs, Kittiwakes and Cormorants

La mer
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie

Lyrics courtesy of Charles Trenet

3rd July. I paid an unexpected visit to sunny Marsden today and spent a pleasant couple of hours down there. The main object was to check out any botanical interest before a future walk. In fact there wasn’t that much floral interest. I was surprised that there were so few butterflies on the wing too although I did see Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue (males and females) and Meadow Brown.

I walked down into the bay an along the shore watching and listening to the Kittiwakes as I went and taking note of the Sand Martin colony. The top of Marsden Rock was taken up in the main by Cormorants. I saw no Shags. There were a few Fulmars about. I got my eye on a couple of Razorbills on the ‘rock’. I eventually managed to count fourteen Razorbills coming and going from the rock ledges. There may have been a few more as I saw some on the sea, but was unsure if these were the same birds I had counted flying away from the rock.

Next time I’m down there will be more time for a sea watch. I walked up the steps at Marsden Grotto which took me back to the top of the cliffs. One-hundred and twenty-seven steps in all give or take one or two. The cliff scenery was at its best today. As I say, there wasn’t a lot of floral interest but plants which remain in mind includes Kidney Vetch, Rest Harrow, Birds-foot Trefoil, Common Spotted Orchid and Greater Knapweed. There were a couple of darker purple Orchids on the cliff side which were well past their best and I wasn’t too sure what they were and wasn’t prepared to risk my neck in order to try and find out.

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