Smaller birds

Another dawn start by the Yorkshire coast. No albatross this morning but so worth the 3.30am alarm call.

Birdwatching and an attempt to re-establish social bridges.

It’s the perfect time for Hawklad to do a bit of bird spotting. You have the site largely to yourself. The sound of the sea and thousands of birds is very soothing. It’s a good way for him to focus on something different. Something which distracts him from those daily anxieties. He can feel at one with nature.

Then the occasional early morning birdwatcher turned up. It’s a big site so they kept their distance. For a couple of hours no one came within 100 yards of us. Maybe I’m scaring them off – early morning starts do nothing for my granite like features. Definitely a face for radio. As more birders took up position Hawklad became less relaxed. More anxious glances over the shoulder. Making sure no one is approaching.

By 8am more people are turning up. Still maybe no more than a few dozen in total. Too many for Hawklad so we leave and head back home. Giving people wide berths on paths. Picking the least busy route through a slowly filling up car park. Getting back to the car then using had wash for several minutes. Carefully rinsing the mouth out with mouthwash.

This still feels like a million miles from venturing back into shops and enclosed spaces. So far away from crowds. A return to school is potentially just a month away. The first step has to be feeling comfortable with crowds and strangers outside. Only then can the ficus shift to inside matters.

Another step forward but I’m not sure how much more of those social bridges were built.


It feels like it’s been an eternity since we last took in some seaside air. I think it’s just under two years. TWO YEARS…. That must be my longest ever inland run. Especially not great when you are a seaside child, born on the North Yorkshire coast. One day with patience.

This is Whitby. Here’s a few random facts about this beautiful little town.

  • Captain James Cook lived here and his famous ship the Endeavour was built here.
  • Whitby has some of the best Fish and Chips on the planet.
  • The black semi-precious stone Whitby Jet.
  • Bram Stoker developed the idea of his Dracula book here. The opening chapters are set here. Also the idea of Dracula taking on the form of a huge black dog is based on local legends.

When I was a kid we would come here on a day trip by train. While my parents went about doing parenting things, I would be sent up the 199 steps to The Abbey which is in the background of the second photo. My job was to hunt for Dracula’s grave. I never did find it but maybe next time.

I’m not sure that time wasting parenting excuse would have any chance of success with our son. More chance of him convincing me to go. These days we come to Whitby for the chips, the ice cream, the beautiful beach and a bit of dinosaur fossil hunting. This part of the country has been named Jurassic Coast for the number of discoveries it yields. This is one of ours.

So let’s hope it’s not long before the fossil hunting is back underway.