Tuesday, 22 July 2008

South Cape Bay - 22nd July 2008

South East Cape from the cliffs above South Cape Bay - 22nd July 2008Had a very good walk to South Cape Bay today. The forecast for Wednesday is "fine"(ish) so I thought I should walk close to sea-level today and find the snow tomorrow when the weather might be better. It rained a bit today, sometimes heavily, often just drizzling, but there were also lengthy fine and even sunny breaks.

lion Rock from the cliffs above South Cape Bay, showing the black shaly ?coal of the cliffs - 22nd July 2008The sea was quite rough, but I'd expected it to be spectacular. I really do need to go down there when they've forecast a full storm one day. Last time they did that, I couldn't. Today they forecast 4m swell and 4-6m seas. I've seen them forecasting 8m swells and 6m seas before. The Cape Sorell Waverider Buoy shows just how big waves can get off the west coast.

Oystercatchers and Lion Rock, South Cape Bay - 22nd July 2008There were a lot of Oystercatchers on the beach today. I'm always interested to see how the Pied Oystercatchers (Haemotopus longirostris) hang out with the Sooty ones (H. fuliginosis). Here's five Sootys and a single Pied (left). I've seen this before here. I think this Pied was the only one on the beach. I've seen them together often here. Maybe he doesn't know he's not a Sooty Oystercatcher? Makes you wonder if they're actually separate species.

Bluebottle (Physalia utriculus), South Cape Bay beach - 22nd July 2008The weather today made for interesting light, which improved the photos compared to a solidly grey day. However, it was very difficult keeping the rain and salt spray away from the camera lens. Overall, very enjoyable. The weather can't have been too rough, as the beach is still in place. When there's really rough weather, the beach generally moves quite significantly. However, there were quite a lot of small items of flotsam cast quite high on the beach. Among them were a number of Bluebottles (Physalia utriculus). These had just been left by the tide when I came upon them, and were quite fresh and reactive.


mick said...

It sounds like a great walk. I especially like the first photo. I usually see the Sooty Oystercatchers on Rocky headlands out on the coast and the Pied Oystercatchers all around the bay side.

Mark said...

Yes it's a great walk, and the beach is quite spectacular. If you're ever down this way, it's well worth a visit.