Another early trip to the coast. Early means tiredness but it is good. At that time it is quiet. That is perfect for Hawklad. Normally you also get to witness the beauty of first light. NOT THIS DAY….

It was dreadful. Heavy rain, Misty, Windy, Cold. Within minutes of standing in the cliff viewing platform the weather had made its way through our coats and clothes. Today birdwatching was going to be a trial. A few intrepid (bonkers mad) souls were hoping to catch sight of one of the rarest birds. An Albatross. The only Albatross in the Northern Hemisphere. Albert has decided to make the Yorkshire coast one of his pit stops. Last year he spent 3 days here. This year it’s been a month so far. Resting on one particular spot on a steep cliff.

This was our fifth visit to try and see him. We had been lucky on one trip. Seeing him through a telescope on the cliff. But no luck seeing the true spectacle of an Albatross flying. The other visits – no luck. Albert spends a lot of time at sea, or further down the coast or flying to an island off Northern Germany.

Today was not looking hopeful. No sign as he has been last seen flying off to sea. The weather was trying to drive us back to the warmth of the car. The other mad souls had given up. After an hour that was enough for Hawklad and we dragged our sudden bodies back to the car park. But then a couple of men ran back. He might have been spotted. So we headed back to the cliff. NOTHING.

Must have been an earlier sighting. After 30 minutes it was enough for Hawklad again. But for some reason I said ‘5 more minutes’. NOTHING. I started to pack away the drenched binoculars when suddenly a shout. ‘What’s that’.

Amongst the Gannets, one much larger bird with black wings.

Unbelievably Albert the Albatross was there. For 5 glorious minutes he performed close fly passes. Sometimes no more than 20 yards away. These photos don’t do him justice.

Finally Albert settled on the cliff and rested. One chap shouted over that this was like a bird spotters dream that could never happen.

So a very wet Hawklad had seen his first ever Albatross. As a toddler he had a soft toy just like Albert. He loved it and always said he wanted to one day see one. Who would have thought that one would come to him. Now let’s hope Albert somehow finds his way back home. But while he is here he will bring so much joy to many.

But it just goes to show that even when things are seemingly against you. When it’s looking grey and tough. Great things can just be around the corner. DREAMS CAN COME TRUE.

55 thoughts on “Albatross

  1. Oh Gary, what a blessing for your boy and you. Thank you for suffering through the wet and cold to bring us this. Today was a dark day for our country. But it is often darkest before dawn and hopefully, just like it did for you, just as we are packing up life, that dawn will come…

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  2. This thing you type ‘… the weather had made its way through our coats and clothes.’ makes me think you seriously need help with your wardrobes. As you’ve seen me type this before:
    There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothes and shoes.
    Thankfully, my daughter bought me waterproof over trousers when I needed them.
    I think you might need a trip 🥾🥾 to
    Go Outdoors
    FOSS BANK
    York
    YO31 7JB
    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk

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  3. Well done for persisting and what a reward! Fabulous photos. I saw a great many of these extraordinary birds when I worked in the Falkland Islands. Something magical about them.

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      1. Truly remarkable. My blog began as a transcript of my journal I kept at the time, when I was a young man and at the height of my invincibility, or so I thought.

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