Today’s guest picture comes from a visit that my sister Mary paid to Kew Gardens at the beginning of the month.
Today was the final day of our holiday in North Berwick and naturally enough because I had got the car back and was ready to tour the beautiful countryside, the traditional east coast haar (a cold sea mist) arrived and stayed all day.
Although it wasn’t as bad as a haar can be, it excluded any hint of warmth and as a result we had a grey, cheerless day with no view worth speaking of at all and the car didn’t get an outing all day.
What we did instead, was to walk along the sea front to the harbour, stopping to look at flowers as we went…
…in order to pay a visit to the Scottish Seabird Centre.
This is run by a charity which does its best to help Scottish seabirds and it makes money from a good restaurant, a shop and an interesting exhibition centre where you can learn as much as you want about gannets and other local seabirds.
They have a very good system of remote controlled cameras on local islands and the Bass Rock so that a visitor can study the local birds from the comfort of the centre even more closely that can be done from a passing boat.
Each camera can be operated in real time by visitors using a little joystick and I had a good time picking out puffins on Craigleith Island….
…as well as a host of guillemots, cormorants, shags, razorbills, kittiwakes and gulls. There was even a seal having a snooze on the rocks.
Being able to see individual gannets on the Bass Rock, sitting on little seaweed nests was a treat.
Matilda enjoyed the thoughtfully provided soft play area too.
We had a good lunch in the restaurant and then Matilda took her parents home while we had another look at the remote cameras. A helpful assistant gave Mrs Tootlepedal a mass of interesting information about the nesting habits of the gannets.
When we left the centre, we walked out on the rocks at the end of the harbour. It had been pointed out to me that the yacht “carpark” beside the harbour was the remains of the old open air swimming pool and the colourful doors at either end…
…were the old changing cubicles, now presumably used for storage for boat owners.
There is a well made path with handrails along the rocks…
…so we didn’t fall in and I was able to observe eider ducks going up and down.
…and a few brave souls going for a chilly and windy boat ride.
There was not a lot of activity on the beach today.
We got back and had a cup of tea and sit before heading off to the High Street for a last visit to some of its excellent shops. I was able to stock up on leaf tea of good quality and just resisted buying some good looking cheese as well.
To our surprise, we found the redoubtable Matilda and her father bound for the beach when we got back to the flat and i went along to join them. I built as big a sand castle as I could in a short time…..but with inevitable consequences.
Photos courtesy of Matilda’s father.
Matilda had great fun jumping off the castle, using it as a slide and knocking as much of it down as she could. Her mother came down to join us and we had a merry time. Her father had made a more structured castle based on the Roman fort at Housteads and Matilda gave that a good kicking too.
Mrs Tootlepedal had made us another excellent meal so in spite of the gloomy weather we had good fun and ate very well on our final day.
I did catch a flying gull hanging around the seabird centre today.