Albatross

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.

The Yorkshire Albatross

The Yorkshire coast at just after 5am.

Steep cliffs filled with a wide range of gulls, gannets and sea birds. It’s a special place at any time of the year. Don’t forget your thermal underwear if you are coming …..

But today eyes, binoculars and telescopes are aimed at one spot near that distant sea arch. There sits an Albatross. That rarest of Southern Hemisphere wonders has made its way north. And with impeccable taste has made a temporary home in Yorkshire. Hope Albert (his new name) has brought his woolly hat and jumpers.

This was our second attempt to see Albert. We left the house at 4am more in hope than expectation. This time we were in luck. Through the lens we could see Albert perched on the cliff face. For an hour we watched the new Yorkshire Star. Then in seconds he was out to sea. A brief glimpse of an Albatross flying. Towering over the other birds.

If Albert stays long enough then we will try again. This time hoping for a longer sight of him flying. even maybe a chance to get a photograph.

It was also another step for Hawklad. Another encounter with strangers. All very friendly strangers. He kept his distance but managed to stay. Another step in the right direction all thanks to an Albatross. Who would have thought of that one.