RSPB Titchwell Marsh. Norfolk. 10 December 2021

Theme Park. #169

 Beyond the Netflix 'Robin Robin' nonsense of corporate conservation; the 'trail-scan' trendiness of commercial self-interest, lies the overshadowed reason for existing.

 Beyond the overpriced, over hyped optics and the underwelming 'reception hub facility', the cold white finger of biting wind cuts across thIs vast exposed and frightening landscape.

 Within; hunkered down Lapwing face into freezing hardship and Marsh Harrier quarter blunt endless space. Reed Bunting quietly move within phragmites and Water Rail squeal their hidden presence. But at 'Nature's Home' the café cups rattle as the 'yars' drone on.

Axmouth Estuary. East Devon. 30 November 2021

Oozing. #168

 Sticky mud, interspersed with deep riven channels of tidal flow. Twice a day home to waders in search of the countless hydrobia that pack the substrate.

 'Grey ghost' mullet slowly move within these narrow confines; silt being disturbed as they feed as one, active throughout the ebbing tide.

 Pea shingle edges mingle with foothold kelp. Patrolling these margins, Curlew investigate and dispatch hidden invertebrates with clinical expedience.

 As the town awakes and traffic builds; the sentinel cries of disturbed Redshank forlornly echo into the approaching day...

The Lizard. Cornwall. 20 November 2021

Home. #167

 Another evening falls to an all enveloping close. Approaching high tide deposits glistening wet kelp; long displaced by violent storms far from the present.

 In amongst the fallen mighty, Rock Pipit harvest fresh blown maggot and springtail. Wagtail; both Grey and Pied, lift rotting weed to release the fleeting bounty.

 Flicking favourite lures into turgid grey water results in expectation and reflection. Remembering times and tides long gone; remembering people and places no more.

 Last flickering embers release a chorus of reverberating noise. Cormorant formations; high overhead, forsake the failing sea. Life forever following these winged harbingers of doom...

Hook Lighthouse. County Wexford. 30 October 2021

Damnation. #166

 Running from the coast like a thief in the night. Evil green mountainous waves smash against heavily eroded banks. Stealing the very core within.

 Nothing living outside of it can withstand the frightening power. Gale force winds rip off whole branches and toss them down debris laden tracks. The detritus of rage and anger.

 Grounded Herring Gulls; massed and tightly packed, waiting behind sanctuary walls. Skies; dark and menacing, devoid of hope and need, blast over cowering clifftops.

 Piercing light, cutting through disaster. Warning that destruction awaits both the reckless and the fool. Keep clear. Stay away. Eternity is waiting to claim your very existence...

Ballinskelligs Bay. County Kerry. 21 October 2021

Breathe. #165

 Picking through the aftermath of overnight chaos, Chough congregate on short cropped coastal greens and feed in early morning light.

 Gently floating kelp fronds detached from the seabed by immense violence; provide interest for a lone Grey Heron intent on plunder.

 Ringed Plover run along the shallows 'sight-feeding' for morsels still active, before the tide recedes and the bounty disappears.

 Enigmatic and wistful Greenshank, probing shrinking pools. Nervous and watchful; it inevitably bolts, as the horizon resounds to its plaintive call...

Killmackillogue Pier. County Kerry. 19 October 2021

Tempest. #164

 Big water and big waves drown out the call of Hooded Crow. Lofted into the air as chaff to the wind; they race and spill the vortex, plummeting ever earthwards.

 Fading light; robbed by the storm, flickers and cracks over the far distant mountains. Daylight rushing up and over grey jagged peaks until finally gone.

 Hunkered down in still air hollows, Linnet huddle together between gusts and driven rain. Rising as one between squalls to feed, before being forced to seek shelter once more.

 Around the bay Oystercatcher call on the wing, unseen but strident enough to cut through the constant roar. The attraction of countless mussel string farms keep them close, regardless of cost...

Fishguard. Pembrokeshire. 12 October 2021

Raft. #163

 Into the cavernous all engulfing mouth; consumed as naught but krill to the leviathan. Motorised detritus shuffling into obedience and order.

 Empty decks and empty minds converge on 'duty free' and mind-numbing 'essentials'. Herd instinct without herd immunity, carrying tat bags of need and want.

 Little Englander and professional Irishman mingle and jostle for pole-position comfort. Strategic thinking with cushions and duvets, wallowing in previous travellers dirt.

 Ungodly hours and unsavoury sights befit the moment. Flotsam and jetsam in a steel wrap; encased and held, before spewing out into yet another form-filled establishment...

NT. Carleon Cove. Cornwall. 22 September 2021

Juxtaposition. #162

 The contrast between languid freshwater pool and roaring coastal salinity is stark and surprising. The sedate and the manic, separated by mere yards.

 Finger sized trout jump clear of algae green waters; as Moorhen patrol the limp margins, in and out of reedbed edge, avoiding the unknowing and unseeing.

 Stone balancers sit on serpentine pebbles and reshape the landscape. Both children and the old concentrate as one, as pinnacles form down to the intertidal zone.

 Incoming tide hydrates bladderwrack covered boulders. Filling gullies and channels and then lapping the boundary between permanent and transition...

The Lizard Peninsula. Cornwall. 08 September 2021

Regression. #161

 Low tide resting after the night before storm; calmness after the fury of exposed coastal brutality, stillness in the mist as light rain touches the air and breathes.

 Memories of a lifetime ago flood back with each gaze into clear pools, alive with blenny and suckerfish. Knee deep in nostalgia and carefree days; wafting fronds mesmerise the senses.

 Early migrant Black Restart sit on exposed rock. Ready for the arduous autumn migration to come; or perhaps a fickle tempting of fate, to overwinter here. Life in the balance.

 Strandline bladderwrack rotting in piles. Swarms of miniscule flies emerge from maggot blown decay. Both Grey Wagtail and Rock Pipit gorge on the ever plentiful bounty: as the slack-water tide imperceptibly turns...

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