Thursday, 21 January 2010

Swans and Grey Sea

Yesterday, an afternoon of grey sky and cold wind. Down in the shelter of Christchurch Harbour there were gulls, swans, coot and mallard duck, resting on mudflats or rising hopefully into the air as walkers often bring food to scatter for the birds .

I planned a longer walk, but the cold was so harsh and the wind chill penetrated even the thickest clothing. There were few people about.

Black Headed Gulls , their heads white now in winter plumage, flew away disappointed as I had only a camera in my hand. No bread for the birds yesterday. Across the harbour, where small boats have sheltered moorings, is the cliff of Hengistbury Head that protects the harbour from the longshore drift and westerly winds of Poole Bay.

The sailing club marina and the old buildings of Mudeford Quay beyond. There are quaint cottages once lived in by fishermen or coastguards, a pub and a stall that sells fish fresh from the boats.

A mute swan, preening on the mudflats.

The Air-Sea Rescue helicopter flew along the coast from Bournemouth and on across the harbour.

A plastic bag stuck amongst gulls and grasses on a mudflat island.

A mute swan gliding across calm water.

As I walked aroung the Quay and out of the shelter of the harbour, a fierce, cold wind caught my breath. Angry breakers rolled in over the submerged sandflats that stretch along the quayside.

Breakers crash and fizz up sand and shingle at Avon Beach. The wooded clifftops of Friars Cliff and Highcliffe lie across the bay.

The white chalk cliff of Tennyson Down where the western edge of the Isle of Wight rises out of a dark grey, choppy sea.

A small fishing boat, returning from Poole Bay, sped in on the tide towards The Run, the narrow gap which is the entrance to shelter in Christchurch Harbour.

The Run, with Mudeford Quay .

A last look back through pine trees towards the harbour and sheltered water. It was time to leave .


Morning's Minion said...

I'm glad you braved the chilly weather for these photos and descriptions to share. I hope you warmed your hands on a hot mug of tea after. I've found it clumsy to take the camera out when its cold--I can't manage the buttons and settings with gloves and my fingers get too cold without them.
Oddly enough there are swans in the interior west--a gathering of them in a little pond at Jackson Hole and others we have stopped to see in Idaho. There are also pelicans here--strange for such a land-locked mostly arid place.

Bovey Belle said...

We have swans on the water meadows of the Towy again. I counted 15 yesterday. Too far away t identify, but "common or garden" I suspect! Lovely photos. Last time I was at Hengistbury Head I was pregant with Tam!

rachel said...

A lovely, if chilly, outing and guided tour. Thank you!

ChrisJ said...

I love photographing swans. They are such graceful creatures you can hardly get a poor shot. The seas look grey and cold. I am way behind in getting good photographs for blogs and I have a busy (for me) week ahead. Got to take this photography thing more seriously. I love your posts. They are very poetic.