An hour or so later the walk back to Rhos Point was quite different. The going was easier too as the strong wind was behind me now and not taking my breath away. Almost immediately I caught sight of a bird hopping around on the rocks. I waited hoping it would come into view, which it did, just as a woman with a dog approached and chose that moment to break into a run. The bird flew away. Again it was a pipit, possibly the same one I’d seen back on the beach. The legs are pinkish and plumage brown so maybe a Meadow Pipit?
A small sedum plants looks at home in a pocket eroded in a limestone rock.
Small pools of rainwater are held briefly, lasting longer in the hard granite rocks.
The garden snail must have found it hard going sliding over the rough surface of the sea wall.
There is a wide concrete ramp reaching from the road down to the shore which probably gave access to heavy construction vehicles when the huge boulders of the sea defences originally were put in place. The lower section is being absorbed back into the shore, it is strewn with pebbles and small rocks and slippery with seaweed. Limpets are embedded into the wall itself as well as in large rocks on the shore at the bottom of the ramp.
I love the textured ‘lacy’ look of this rock almost covered with barnacles.
The sea is often at its most beautiful on these sunny windy days, its surface whipped up roughened and flecked with foam-edged ripples and the colour of the water ranging from deepest inky dark blue to pale turquoise-green. Large areas are stained brown by dredged up sand.
Sun, shade and curves make this man-made construction interesting.
The white marks highlighting the curved sea wall are mineral, maybe lime leached from the concrete?
The parapet floor has an interesting pattern and texture and is spotted with patches of white lichen.
As I got nearer to the Point I knew the tide was further in by the increased bird activity; the excitement it generates is almost tangible. Gulls take to the air and fly back and forth along the shoreline. Oystercatchers and other waders scuttle about, heads down, beaks probing for anything edible brought in on the waves.
Crows head shorewards too, the one in my picture landed on a lampost towering above me, cawing loudly. They forage amongst the rocks along with the waders and are often seen picking up a shellfish then flying up with and dropping it onto the rocks below to crack it open.
Even the curlews were excited. Most often seen stalking sedately around rocks and pools, now there were several flying along at speed, skimming low over the rocks on the shore below me. A couple of them may have been in pursuit of the one I managed to capture a shot of; it was travelling so fast I didn’t realise it had food in its beak until I saw the photograph.
On the Point the incoming tide approaches from either side of the mussel bed, where I assume different currents merge. The birds have an infallible instinct for the tidal changes and in the hour before and after high tide their numbers increase dramatically. They are brought closer to the shore then too and absorbed with foraging and eating, are easier to see.
It was too cold and windy to hang around and wait today though, so I had a quick peek into the chapel, which I can never resist. There are only 6 seats inside, so I wonder if they’ve lined up these memorial benches on the promenade outside to serve as overflow pews?
Many young Herring gulls wander around the village at this time of year, often screeching for the attention of a parent. They have no road sense and sadly quite a few are killed by cars.