North Berwick – It was a bit Fresh

Looks lovely doesn’t it? Just like a Caribbean island

Dust devils, North Berwick

However this isn’t St Lucia, it’s the beach at North Berwick, just half an hour from Edinburgh by train, and those light traces are streams of sand being blown across the beach at sandblasting velocity.

We had planned to take the Seabird Safari boat out to the gannet colony on Bass Rock as a treat for the younger members of our party, but the sea was too rough for the RIB boats to go out.

RIB Boats riding out the squall at North Berwick

Not that it was much different for the eider ducks who were mostly keeping their beaks down in the lee of the Scottish Seabird Centre. The black and white birds are the drakes and a bit later in the afternoon I witnessed two of them fighting, trying to impress some of the less brightly coloured females.

Eider ducks sheltering

Out at sea we could just about make out the shapes of the few gannets, shags and gulls that were braving the elements, but as we could see later on the Seabird Centre’s (admission £7.95 adults)  remote cameras out of Bass Rock, Fidra and May, most of the birds were keeping their heads down.

Beach at North Berwick

So after checking on the birds we headed for a spot of lunch at the Ship Inn in Quality Street. Here true Scottish pluck was being put to the test by attempting an open air barbecue in a howling gale. We left them to it and went for fish and chips next door, at North Berwick Fry. I thought at £51.70 for five of us,  it was a little on the expensive side for a chip shop, but the batter on our haddock was exceptionally light and fluffy and we did have a few beers.

So after lunch we had a potter around the town, visiting the recommended Sugar Mountain sweet shop for some souvenirs, before a final walk along the wind blasted beach,

Gulls and Eiders sheltering

to get a final view of Bass Rock with its white covering of nesting gannets, the largest single colony of Atlantic gannets in the world.

Bass Rock

Photos copyright QueenMab/Shipscook Photographic. contact simon.ball3@btopenworld.com for commercial reuse

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