Waiting with the terns for the tide

Summer it seems, is here, blown in on the back of cold north-westerlies, the weather more in keeping with early spring. But for long distance migrants whose journey will continue soon enough to Antarctica, there is little time to waste...
...and the skies above The Skerries lying off the north coast of Anglesey are alive again with the frenetic flight of the arctic terns.
Beginning the crossing from Harry Furlough's Rocks, the start of a 6km ferry glide on a bearing that seems improbable, until the island of West Mouse passes behind remarkably quickly. In fact the cardinal buoys and many other navigational aids make the crossing relatively straight forward, at least in good visibility and calm seas though even on neaps it is a fast passage.
Deep blue skies and a strong sun, though the water remains cold.
Approaching The Skerries, the noise of the terns grew in volume though it was the puffins we saw first.
Arriving precisely at the north end of the islands we were flushed through the narrow channels into the lagoon between the main island and Ynys Arw to look back on the lighthouse...
...before waiting with the terns for the tide.
Perhaps it is simply a little early in the breeding season, but certainly the terns seemed less aggressive than is often the case...
...and I spent a while in the vicinity of the lighthouse, one eye on the birds, the other on the waters between us and Carmel Head.
Looking south towards The Stacks - on our last visit we had used the flood tide to come around the far headland and cross Holyhead Bay directly to The Skerries. It was a good crossing with wind and tide in our favour and an excellent alternative to the norm.
In the last hour of the ebb we crossed directly to Carmel Head, thickening cloud and a chill breeze indicating a change in the weather to come.
Last light, looking back on the crossing from one of the better camps hereabouts, accessed by a boulder strewn channel that seems sufficient to deter most.
As darkness fell I watched the sweep of The Skerries light for a short while before the wind rapidly picked up, strong gusts rattling the tents between heavy showers - summer it seems, is here.


Douglas Wilcox said…
Stunning trip and photos Will. :o)
Will Herman said…
Thanks Douglas - one of the better ones off Anglesey and always good at this time of year...