Monday 4 November 2013

The weather, and matters tidal...

Lade - wet, windy, nw 4, sunny later - One of the most interesting aspects of life down here on the flatlands by the sea is that the weather and tides tend to dominate daily life much more than if living up country, and today was a classic. Last night and early morning was another shocker with heavy rain and a scudding north-westerly rattling the windows around the cottage. However, by mid-morning the wind had backed off slightly and the sun broke through in a bright blue sky; by midday  most of the surface rainwater had soaked into the shingle and was all but a distant memory.
Anyhow, I noticed on the local news that the EA had issued several flood warnings in the south-east (north Kent mostly), due to high tides and a tidal surge coinciding with the heavy rainfall, so after checking the pits we spent a bit of time on the beach at Greatstone, around high tide, and most impressive it was too.

                                "By `eck, looks ruff out there!"

                                Greatstone Beach

It`s very rare that you get such conditions here where long rollers with masses of surf crash up against and undercut the sand dunes. Shingle from further south along the bay was being moved down towards the dunes making a spectacular undertow noise as the waves receded, while further along towards Lade the sea crashed over the first shingle ridge washing away the dead sea kale tops. All pretty riveting stuff, which just highlights the power of mother nature.
As for birds, well they took second place this morning, but few passerines were noted due to the wind. On the beach Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch in the dunes, a gang of House Sparrows by the Tavern and a large roosting flock of Oystercatchers and Barwits on the shingle near Lade. Several Marsh Harriers and Kestrels were hunting behind the `mirrors` and a couple of Chiffchaffs called from the willow swamp. 

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