Friday, 8 August 2008

St. Andrews, Fife

Not a wildlife-orientated trip as such, but in a coastal city there is always something to be seen. I went on a day-trip to St. Andrews and spent the day looking around the quaint cobble-stoned streets and unusual specialist shops that are only to be found in a city with wealth. After the obligatory visit to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, I went to an old fashioned bakery and bought some tasty pastries which I ate at the harbour though I had little peace from wasps. In the water below, a family of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) cruised by.

Surely the pun was noticed when this street was named?

At the Harbour there were stacks of brightly coloured lobster pots and piles of mooring ropes. These items, along with fishing nets and floats, always seem to be the same two colours: either cyan or pinkish orange. I love this colour combination: it's unusual but very photogenic.

I wandered down to the sandy shore (West Sands) and found a place to sit and eat. On the stony embankment separating the golf course from the beach there was a small foraging flock of Linnets (Carduelis cannabina). Down at the beach it was rather windy and I soon experienced the gritty sensation of sand in my food!

Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) squabbled over the possession of my, as yet, unabandoned feast. Once they had flown off in search of easier pickings, a sole Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) turned up.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) in winter plumage