Saturday, 11 July 2009

Sula Bassana

Another beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine saw Margaret and I heading for Scotland once again, our destination was North Berwick in Lothian, a place we have visited many times in the past. Every time I have been there previously it had been my intention to take a boat trip out to Bass Rock, but although I have had many a blue sky days in the resort the wind had been blowing briskly from the west making the short voyage in a small open boat a hazardous undertaking. So I journeyed there in hope rather than expectation, but this time my luck was in, the sea was like a mill-pond and not enough wind to blow a feather.
The reason for visiting the Rock is that it is populated by 80,000 pairs of Gannet during the breading season. Bass Rock is the closest sea bird sanctuary to the mainland and was the first to be studied by ornithologists during the 19th century, when they gave the Gannet the scientific name Sula Bassana, incorporating the name of this rocky stack. This colony is the largest on the east coast of Britain and holds approximately 10% of the world population of North Atlantic Gannets.
After a leisurely coffee at the Seabird Centre, an outdoor cafe built on a rock outcrop leading to the North Sea I set off for the “Rock” with the services of Sula 11 Seabird Boat Trips. The one and a half hour trip was magical and passed much to quickly, look up, look down, to either side, it was all action packed as the gannets performed an aerial ballet fit for a West End theatre production. I spent most of my time mesmerised by the spectacle that surrounded me instead of photographing it, but it will remain in the memory bank, until alzheimer's takes hold.


  1. Dave. What a great day out you had. Very much a day to remember.Maybe " oldtimers " definitely not alzheimers we hope. Thanks Dave for sharing your memories. Hope to catch up with you sometime.

  2. Lovely images/reading... You have a way of bringing the scene to life in the mind of the reader with only a few words, and very informative too. Sounds fabulous and Gannets are a favourite of mine.


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