Monday, 15 October 2012

A weekend on the east coast

Last weekend we were invited to my husband's cousin's wedding (congratulations Scott & Kirsten!) up in St. Andrews on the east coast of Scotland. Since it's a good couple of hours drive away from us and Kev had the day off anyway we decided to make a trip of it and stay for a moderately long weekend's break. Obviously, I had my camera with me and although St. Andrews is primarily known for its long, sandy (and windy!) beaches, there are a few rocky parts where a fair amount of wildlife seemed to be congregating, maybe to take advantage of the better feeding under the seaweeds and around the rocks.

It was a cold and windy day when we headed down to the waterfront for a wander around, but despite being dressed in my loudest and extremely lime green snowboarding  jacket, we were still able to get pretty close to a lot of the birds thanks to a handy sea-wall and their obvious habituation to people on the beaches.

A cormorant drying off its wings in the wind and (intermittent) sunshine

And another cormorant flying past.

Carrion crows, like hooded crows are common scavengers around the coasts.
A well camouflaged curlew hunting amongst the seaweeds.

A rather grumpy looking heron waiting to hunt. It wasn't having much luck with the fishing that we saw!
A little redshank hunting in the seaweeds as well. He was less well camouflaged!

Interestingly, all these birds could be seen quite easily from the shore, despite large numbers of tourists wandering around, so it seems to be a pretty good place for a bit of photography if you're passing by. You just need to make sure and avoid the crowds:

I have no idea if this rock is special in some way or not, but in the half-hour we were hanging around here we watched two busloads of people climb up it, take photos of the sea and then head off again!

On the Sunday, feeling a little fragile after the wedding festivities we decided to take the longer, coastal route home to Glasgow, stopping in a couple of towns on the way. Neither of us were feeling particularly patient or stealthy, but the weather was being wonderfully changeable and making some lovely light which I love for photography, so we gave the wildlife a miss and simply enjoyed the views!

Lobster cottage; though the observant will notice that is in fact a spider crab skeleton!

An ancient advertisement in the village of Crail.
The harbour at Crail.
And the harbour at St. Monans.
A break in the clouds illuminated the Isle of May for a few seconds before the rain closed back in again.

In other exciting photography-related news, I am now the proud owner of a Canon G12 compact camera and underwater housing which I have bought simply because I miss being able to take a camera with me underwater whenever I want to! With the amount of SCUBA training I do through the year with the university, it's just not safe to carry the big camera with me most of the time, but hopefully this compact will let me have my cake and eat it to some extent. We shall see how it performs in the murky depths of Loch Fyne this weekend!

EDIT: Or not. Seems this is the time of year for everyone to get sick, so the underwater camera tests will have to wait a little longer.