Friday, 28 September 2012

An island of 2 sides

Today is the perfect confirmation that the Isle of May is an island of two sides. Two days ago it was still being pounded by the swell from a gale force east wind. Today the wind has swung round to the south west and is pounding the cliffs. On Wednesday all the sheltered areas were along the tops of the cliffs and tucked away in Pilgrims Haven and now today what was warm and still is now howling and cold. And now Holymans Road and Kirkhaven are the sheltered areas where you can linger and enjoy sanctuary from the buffeting.
On Fluke Street, being tucked in a cleft on an east west axis, the wind only ever blows one of two ways and this makes the old warden-made weather vane rather pointless. Instead of checking the weather vane you just have to stick your head out of the door each morning.
So all the birds that were blown in on the storm and huddled along the west cliffs and gullys have been gradually shifting across the island, many seemingly not wanting to leave but instead eat their fill and put some fat on instead. This evening, Kirkhaven and Holymans were alive with song thrushes, dunnocks and robins, calling as they zipped up in the half light like autumn leaves in the wind. At least one snow bunting is also still lingering, plus a garden warbler, blackcaps, wrens, willow warblers and chiffchaffs making use of the blackened and battered nettles beds.
Meanwhile Lucie and I continue to clear up after the storm and start to put away all of the signs and ropes as it is looking like this is the end of the visitor season with these blustery south-westerlies due to continue for at least another couple of days. 

 Pilgrims haven getting the waves today.
There is a mountain of  broken kelp getting washed up on Pilgrims.

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