Sunday, 29 December 2013

Broadsands Walk and Wildlife

We went out for a walk with the dog yesterday to Broadsands Beach and Green. The weather was lovely and the sun was starting to set. 


 Plenty of people out and about and lots of bird watchers too (see news items below).


Broadsands Green is a lovely place for a walk looking out towards the sea but with plenty of grass to throw a ball for the dog in safety



Broadsands in the winter

 Setting sun catching the clouds


A few boats out in the bay

Some items from the news

Dart RNLI called out to secure boats after breaking their moorings-watch the video here

Broadsands Beach has been given the all clear after degraded edible palm oil was washed onto shore after the recent storms. Although not toxic to humans, if dogs eat large amounts it can be dangerous. This has happened over the last few weeks all along South Hams coastline and other parts of Devon.

We went off to Broadsands to see if it was about but it had all disappeared thankfully and the beach was clean.

Birding at Broadsands and Brixham-Great excitement and the place filled with Twitchers at the site of  White-billed Divers at the Astra Zeneca site in Brixham. Mike Langman posted this on the Devon Birdwatching and Preservation Society website. Mike was the teacher at the Berry Head photography class I attended earlier this year.

Another storm on its way-oh no! You might be interested in this story from The Express. Sea Scouts in canoes rescuing people from severe flooding in their homes because there was no-one to help them. It's a sad report which reflects the real effects of the crippling government cuts on our essential  emergency services.

I'll leave you with a few wildlife pictures from Broadsands.




Seagulls of all types come in to land here as there is a fresh water outlet here which they like to use to have a bath in. Well it's run off from the roads and can be polluted, but not today.

Just as we were heading back the Broadsands seal put in an appearance for us all which was lovely. We saw it on Boxing Day too.

Happy Holidays
SeagullSuzie

Monday, 23 December 2013

Dartington Cider Press And Christmas Wishes from Brixham

Yesterday we went over to the Christmas Fair at Dartington on the site of the old cider press. It was good to get there early and as we passed the major supermarkets there were queues just to get into the car park.

Here are a few photos of the Christmas Market, there was a band playing, the sun shone and it was a lovely little trip out. I bought some beautiful greeting cards which I'm going to frame, tree decorations at half price and 4 lovely stoneware mugs again at half price.


Here are some of my favourite Christmas tree decorations, and as you can see we have a gold cherub on the top of our tree. The Christmas tree light positioning is deliberate and a great source of amusement in our house each year....!


Our Christmas tree. It was great fun going to Marldon Christmas Trees to select out tree this year as you could go out into the fields and select one which they cut down and you could take home there and then, so we did. It's a 7 foot Nordman Fir and was a struggle to get into the car.


In an effort to keep me quiet and rested I have been reading some novels by Thomas Hardy. I'm a real Thomas Hardy fan and have already read all his books and poems once, but not for a very long time. Hubby bought me Far From The Madding Crowd and I've just finished reading it. I had almost forgotten how much I love his writing, here are just two lines from this story that I love.

"On a day which had a summer face and a winter constitution"
"It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs"

The storms are back and after seeing what Scotland are going to get on the Countryfile weather forecast last night I feel really sorry for them. The winds here are not at their strongest just yet, we have a force 7 storm with winds at about 35mph.

I still have to go out to buy the chicken, potatoes and parsnips. I was planning a nice walk into Brixham today but the weather has prevented that, so I'll have to wait until hubby is back with the car to venture out.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
SeagullSuzie


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Reflection on Stormy Weather

I thought I'd take a look back at Brixhams historic storms and the more recent storm surge that hit the East Coast recently and has almost been forgotten about by the press.

East Coast Storm Surge

On the east coast of England the recent storm surge affected hundreds of seals and hit right in the middle of pupping. Now the RSPCA is looking after over one hundred seal pups in their East Winch sanctuary in Norfolk. Sadly hundreds of seals were lost in the storm. More on this from the BBC website and Friends of Horsey Seals

At Hemsby seven cliff tops homes were damaged or washed off the sandy cliffs. Some people have lost their only home whilst others using them as holiday homes have not lost quite so much.

The RSPB has been badly affected by the storm surge and Snettisham, Havergate and Dingle nature reserves have received the worst damage. Blacktoft Sands, Saltholme and Titchwell have also suffered. In an email from the RSPB a few days ago, this is what they said "The devastation to some of our nature reserves has been immense, and as I write this we're still not sure of the full impact"

The Great Gale of 1866

In Brixham we have a story about The Great Gale of 1866 which hit one night in January.

"The fishing boats only had sails then and could not get back into harbour because gale force winds and the high waves were against them. To make things worse, the beacon on the breakwater was swept away, and in the black darkness they could not determine their position.

According to local legend, their wives brought everything they could carry, including furniture and bedding, to make a big bonfire on the quayside to guide their men home.

Over fifty vessels were wrecked and more than one hundred lives were lost in the storm; when dawn broke the wreckage stretched for nearly three miles up the coast. Hearing of this tragedy, the citizens of Exeter gave money to set up what became the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Brixham Lifeboat in 1866. Now known as Torbay Lifeboat Station"

Extract above from the History of Brixham at
http://www.brixham.uk.com/Pages/History_Introduction.htm
 

A Quiet Time

What a storm we've just had! I'm surprised the house is still standing-but we've had worse. Wind gusts recorded at Berry Head at just after 5pm today were 66 mph and the rain fell so fast we had 6 mm in an hour by 6pm. This was much worse that Hurricane Jude, which more or less missed us recently. It's all quiet now.

Sorry I've not been active on the blog recently and out and about with my camera. I had a minor operation just after Dartmouth by Candlelight and had to take it easy for a week or two. I'm not good at keeping still and have to rest a little bit more for about 4-6 weeks. Which will mean I'll be fit enough to start my keep fit and yoga classes mid January when the new term starts. Unfortunately I'll be really unfit by then and will have to get back into shape gradually.

I hope you are all well and prepared for Christmas what ever you are doing. 
Until next time. Have a good weekend
Seagull Suzie

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Dartmouth By Candlelight

Two days of Christmas festivities at Dartmouth seemed to go very well, helped by lovely weather. Dartmouth was busy and vibrant and the Royal Avenue Gardens was the centre for the market and lights switch on. 
There were plenty of stalls selling all sorts of items. We were very tempted by one selling mulled cider and you could get a shot of brandy in it too...I thought it would be wonderful but perhaps far too alcoholic to continue taking photos and walking upright.

The Christmas Market getting busy

A few of the Christmas stalls in the market
 




Pretty shops (even the fish and chip shop looks beautiful)
 









Dartmouth Market after the lights switch on









 One of the prettiest streets in Dartmouth


A view of Dartmouth from the ferry as we leave to go home





Dartmouth with The Britannia Royal Naval College lit up in the background


We had a lovely evening and great meal at Kendricks.  I was not able to go to the candlelight procession on Saturday and in truth was a little disappointed at the Christmas lights. I thought they'd be all along the marina and through the trees, but sadly it was only in the gardens. So really it's not Dartmouth by candlelight, but Dartmouth by Christmas lights-it was still very pretty and I hope you agree.

I hope you have enjoyed this walk around picturesque Dartmouth with me and have been successful in your Christmas preparations so far.
Until next time
SeagullSuzie


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Last Day of November

After a beautiful winters day spent with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine, I decided to grab the camera and take a late walk along the South West Coastal Path just before sunset and see what I could get on camera.



So here is one way from my house, down our country lanes, with pretty leaf colours all around the public footpath and the start of the SWCP.



 Once you get past this old stile these are the first views you get looking towards Berry Head


I decided to go the other way towards St Marys Bay




 A view through the hedgerows, which stop you falling off the cliffs

A few of the autumn things I saw along the way





Lovely green banks on either side of the footpath, well sheltered from the sun and wind



 Very higgledy piggledy steps


Rewarded with a great view of Sharkham where we often go walking with the dog and where I still haven't taken you-sorry!


St Marys Bay below



The land is very unstable along here and this part of the cliff is shingle. Soon part of the path will fall away here, this is just to the side of my feet. I was trying to show how high up this bit of path is as I'm looking down and across to the South Fort of Berry Head.

 

I'm on my way back home now and just about to turn up the other public footpath having walked a loop of the path behind the holiday camp.


Horses and ponies are here all year in the field that runs alongside the path

Almost at the top of the path to join the road now and looking back down across the fields towards the sea and costal path. Its a view I never tire of, just a few minutes walk from the house.


December tomorrow-it's all going so fast. I got the Christmas decorations down from the loft and have decided to go and pick out the Christmas tree next Saturday. Marldon Christmas Trees is a local business which grows their own trees on a farm in Paignton. It's great fun deciding on a suitable tree and even more fun trying to get it into the car!

Looking forward to Dartmouth by candlelight next weekend, so get your hat and coat ready!

I hope you all have a great start to December
SeagullSuzie