Thursday, 19 June 2014

Damselflies Up In The Hills, Kittiewakes Down By The Sea.

Great weather we are having at the moment here in Scotland's south east coast, a nice change from the wind & rain that we are more familiar with. 
My little girls were performing an Irish dancing display with the rest of their Irish dance group, part of the Dunbar civic week events, so I hit the trails on alternative route mostly traffic free & met the family outside the town house in Dunbar to watch the little ones strut their stuff.

Taking the scenic route towards the Brunt where the fields & hedgerows are alive with birdsong & a deer is keeping it's eyes on me.

Reaching the Brunt farm with it's run down steadings & unlike most old farm steadings around these parts they have not yet been converted into houses...yet !
Some coo's enjoying the sun & chewing the cud.

The climb up to Brunt hills is always a good workout, but well worth it for the views from the top.

Reaching the top & admiring the views back over to Blackcastle Hill, the seaside town of Dunbar & further west along the East Lothian landscape.

A zoomed in shot of the Bass Rock & from this lofty position I always think how odd it looks just sitting on it's own in the Forth estuary. The Bass Rock is the remains of a volcano & what is left now is the plug of the volcano, working the imagination as to how massive the volcano must have been & what the surrounding landscape must of looked like then.

Sitting next to this little pond having a bite to eat & soaking up the views here at Brunt Hill there was an orgy of Damselfly activity breeding around the pond margins, there were dozens of them varying in colours from mostly blue through to green, brown, red & even two tone green & blue.
Even the pondskaters were getting in on the action.

Descending down the rocky hill at warp speed passing by Spott farm & through the grounds of the Spott house, where the drive way is perfectly aligned looking out to North Berwick Law.

The refurbished Spott pigeon doocot & Doonhill in the background.
Many estate grounds have pigeon doocots, used back in the day as a steady supply of meat, eggs & the pigeon's droppings were used as a fertiliser for the fields & tanning leather, there is a high concentration of doocots here in East Lothian more than anywhere else in the U.K. varying in designs the above being of the lectern style.
Spott church where my great grandparents are buried & the place where I had a ball & chain put on when I got married there !

Dunbar's historic Town House, built towards the end of the 16th century, contains what is considered Scotland's oldest functioning Council Chamber.
And below the Town House I met up with the rest of the clan to watch our little girls & their group doing there Irish dancing display :-)
The 'Mercat cross' situated below the Town House a composite 'cross' made up of a 16th century octagonal shaft with symmetrical cap & base mouldings, surmounted by three skewputs bearing grotesque human heads, the whole crowned by a Scottish thistle. The fragments of which this object is composed are in no way related in date, but the skewputs are probably relics of the old parish church, which was replaced by the present modern structure on the same site. The shaft may well be that of the 'Castle cross' referred to in a historical document.

After doing my parental duties it was time to get back on the saddle, so up along the High Street where Lauderdale House  resides I headed off down to the harbour where there is always something interesting happening whether it be boats coming back in from the sea to the seals in the harbour looking for an easy meal, I love going down for a nose.

Arriving down at the harbour to find the 'Shearwater' dredger moored up, the dredger has been deepening the harbour over the last few months.
The 'Shearwater' flying the flag of the U.K. was built in 1968 & has a length & breadth of 37m X 10m.

And working at the harbour mouth was the 'Forth Reclaimer' barge deepening the harbours entrance.

The foundations that are Dunbar, it's castle & the namesake of the town 'Dyn Barr' meaning the fort of the point. In my lifetime I can see how much & quickly it is deteriorating, although it is holding up well considering it was built in 1070 !

Some views around the harbour.

Dunbar where the propeller was invented by Robert Wilson.

The Kittiewake colony is the most accessible in the U.K. with more than 600 pairs nesting on the ruins of the castle, they spend the spring & summer here & head out into the open Atlantic during the winter months. They give an amazing sound to the harbour with their 'kitti-waak kitti-waak kitti-waak' calls hence their name Kittiewake.
Time ticking on & it's a cracking day for a nice easy meander hugging the coastline along the edge of Dunbar golf club looking out to the deep blue.

Sedimentary rock formations where layers upon layers of silt built up over millions of years turned to rock & now slowly through time being eroded by the sea.

Bike on the rocks shots.
Nature always finds a way, with no soil just tiny amounts of sand which has blown into the cracks for these wild flowers to grow & flourish.

 Alternative focal points.

Scaffolding being erected around Barns Ness lighthouse for some repair work, then following the coastal path along to Skateraw.
Elderflower in bloom giving off it's strong smell in the afternoon heat.
Now to head inland back home for a nice cool drink. Thanks for visiting.