As is my wont, I rose early on the morning of the summer solstice to see the sunrise. There isn't much true night at this time of year so, just after 4 a.m., I settled on the local hill overlooking the sea to watch the sun making its appearance on the longest day. After several days of clear skies, this one tended to be a bit overcast but I was treated to a display of the brilliant reds and oranges of a sort of false dawn which subsided to a pink band.
It was an odd phenomenon. Was this the blue hour, l'heure bleu, when the sun is still below the horizon, a time beloved of photographers for its unusual light?
The sunrise, when it did occur, was almost a disappointment.
Having tipped my hat in salute, I returned home for an early breakfast being surprised as always by how many people are on the move even this early in the day...milk, bread and newspaper deliveries, shift workers and maybe some commuters hoping to beat the traffic and parking problems of the city.
The rest of the day was spent strimming the encroaching nettles at the beach hut and watching the terns fishing in the bay.
After my encounter with the Arctic terns on the Isle of May ( Blog 15/06/2017) I was happy to observe them at a distance. These are Sandwich terns...I think. They move so fast it's difficult to keep them in the lens view but from their size, their whiteness and their cries, I reckoned they were Sandwich terns.
They were diving for the fish like miniature gannets rather than skimming and dipping like their Arctic cousins. Arctic terns always remind me of children ducking for Hallowe'en apples in the way they fish. Do children still "dook for aipples" at Hallowe'en? Probably not.
As the sea swallows dived for fish, the true swallows swooped along the shore catching the sand flies. Two truly spectacular aerial acrobats and both long distance migrants. They come back each year to gladden our hearts and think nothing of it.