onsdag den 30. april 2014

May May continue like this

Following on from yesterday, it was another stunning flat calm, sunny, warm, joyous day - although an occasional cloud did try and spoil the party but they couldn't get a foothold and snuck away almost unseen.   Another good morning's ringing saw 64 new birds caught but like yesterday the vast majority were in the first two hours after dawn and as soon as the sun was fully on the nets catching was very slow.
   Birds included an early Garden Warbler, a good influx of 24 Lesser Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 3 Redstarts, 8 Willow Warblers and another 5 Lesser Redpolls.

2K (1st year) and 3K+ (adult) Redstarts
A couple of ringing landmarks were reached in the last few days with the year's total zooming past 2000 birds and 300 Dunnocks for the year - an excellent spring total (plus control Dunnocks from Belgium, Spain, Sweden and two from Denmark!).
   The two birds from Denmark were both ringed at Keldsnor, Sydlangeland, 83Km to the WNW last autumn, coincidentally the two birds were only 20 rings apart and ringed on consecutive days.

Watch out Frogs!


tirsdag den 29. april 2014


An amazing day with not a breath of wind, sunny and warm and even more exciting, the wind (a merest, faint caress of a breeze!) had switched round from the NE and was SW for most of the day and produced a much better morning's ringing - typical, as everyone else has left!   A total of 71 birds were caught with the vast majority coming in the first few hours until the sun was full on the nets; they included 20 Willow Warblers, 2 Redstarts, a Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser Redpolls, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a late Redwing.

'who, what me? I haven't been anywhere near any flowers, honest!'

This beast of a Woodpecker dwarfed the ones we get in the UK, it felt huge in the hand with a wing of 140 and a massive weight of 98.9g!   We do get occasional irruptions of 'Northern' Great-spotted Woodpeckers D. m. major, mainly to the east coast and the Northern Isles which do tend to have longer wings and stouter, deeper bills but none of the ones I've seen have come close to the weight of this female - admittedly all the birds that come across from Scandinavia in the autumn are very hungry and skinny (which is why they came in the first place!)
A Hawfinch flew over the garden in the morning while there was a trickle of Swallows, Sand Martins and flava Wagtails coming in across the sea from the south.   A Black-throated Diver was the only bird of note I saw flying over the flat, mirror-like sea.

Holly Blue

mandag den 28. april 2014

Matty Groves

Yet again, a stunning, sunny, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day with a very light NE breeze (its getting a bit repetitive now!) but the settled weather meant another fairly quiet morning's ringing; we managed 26 new birds including a White Wagtail, a Blackcap, 5 Willow Warblers and 4 Lesser Whitethroats.   There wasn't much else to be seen really with 2 Coal Tits appearing at lunchtime and a few each of Tree Pipit and flava Wagtail overhead, in times like this I usually spend time gazing out to sea but even this was quiet with 5 Little Terns and a Black-throated Diver passing east.

My first Common Whitethroat of the spring and a Whinchat were just up the coast at Birkemose while 4 Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier were floating around.   A look at Kroghage then produced 2 more Marsh Harriers, a flock of 300+ Golden Plover in the distance somewhere behind town and a few singing Willow Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats.

This lost Marsh Harrier sized snack had to be ushered back towards its family at Kroghage 

After a month of entertaining an array of visiting ringers here at the station I am finally back all on my lonesome with Jen leaving yesterday after a few days and Johan leaving at lunchtime to go back up north after around two weeks here - I hope they both enjoyed their stay!   As for me well...its time to turn Fairport Convention back up to full volume, carry out some more naked net rounds and scratch myself whenever I want - just like back in March!

søndag den 27. april 2014

Interlude over

Unfortunately you have to listen to me, Simon again on the blog after yesterday's pleasant interlude from Jen!   The conditions remain the same with bright sunshine and a NE wind so unsurprisingly the ringing totals were also pretty similar; 36 new birds were caught including another Tree Pipit, 2 Redstarts, a nice influx of 7 Lesser Whitethroats (plus a returning bird originally ringed in May 2012) and 13 Willow Warblers.
   Two Serins flew over the station in the morning along with a few Tree Pipits and Swallows while 3 Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier drifted south together at lunchtime.

The Willow Warblers included this pale 'northern' bird
There was a little action on the sea for a couple of hours in the morning with 5 Arctic Skuas east along with a trickle of Little Gulls (55 seen from the station), 10+ Little Terns, a single Black Tern and a few Divers with 4 Black-throated and a Red-throated seen.   20 Sand Martins were around the point in the late afternoon.

lørdag den 26. april 2014

Sunny spots

26/4/2014 – Gedser – Jennifer Lynch
Another stunning sunny day at Gedser, warm enough for me to even take my coat off! As I began opening the nets Simon and Johan headed off to assist with Rune with some Eider ringing. With light winds, the morning began smoothly with the usual early visitors Robins, Wrens and Song Thrush. Similar to yesterday it appeared that many of the birds from yesterday had moved on, but thankfully there were some new arrivals to keep me busy. I managed to catch 29 new birds throughout the morning. The new birds were mostly the usual suspects; Dunnock, Robin, Wren and Song Thrush. There was also a nice selection of migrants with 5 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaff (much to my delight), 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 female Blackcaps.  Both Blackcaps were from last year, and it was interesting for me to see evidence of a more restricted post-juvenile moult in these northern Blackcaps, compared to those I handled in northern Spain a month ago.

A few flocks of Wood Pigeon flew overhead during the morning along with 3 Buzzards, one which took a break on the mast next to the ringing hut. In the last round of the morning there were two nice surprises, a beautiful buttery coloured male Yellowhammer and a somewhat unexpected Spotted Flycatcher; a nice finish to the mornings ringing session. 
                                                                      Spotted Flycatcher

Tomorrow will be my last day at the station, let’s hope for some more nice surprises! 
Jennifer Lynch

fredag den 25. april 2014

You don't expect a Collins bird guide to fall out of the sky

A glorious, sunny day with lightish winds made it a pleasure to be out and about today but the fine weather meant that a lot of yesterday's birds had moved on and largely not been replaced; we did manage to catch 36 new birds through the morning though including a Tree Pipit, 3 new Lesser Whitethroats and 13 Willow Warblers.  
   Other birds seen around the station included a group of 3 Ring Ouzels which flew low over the garden mid-morning, 10+ Tree Pipits, one of yesterday's Redstarts and 3 Blackcaps.   The sea was very quiet with all of the Terns having moved on.

Redstart and Tree Pipit
We all went over to have a look at Bøtø Nature Reserve around lunchtime before the sun moved round too much and there was the usual wide range of birds to be seen that we don't see out here at the station which included - in no particular order 2 Wood Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, 5 Greenshank, 4 Avocets, 5 Garganey, 5 White-fronted Geese with 700+ Barnacle Geese, 6 Marsh Harriers, 18 Red-necked Grebes and a distant flock of 6 Cranes.
A lone Waxwing looking slightly out of place in the bright sunshine in the trees between the station and town was the highlight of a late afternoon stroll.

torsdag den 24. april 2014


It was another case today of ignoring the weather forecast with rain predicted from dawn which again, failed to materialise, it was fairly breezy and overcast but we got a good ringing session in; a moderate total of 26 new birds were caught but these did include a high migrant component with 3 Redstarts, a nice male Pied Flycatcher, 9 Willow Warblers and 2 more Lesser Redpolls the pick.
   There were quite an few birds around the station as well with 2 Whinchats in the front field, at least 30 Tree Pipits in the area which couldn't be tempted into the garden, 2 or 3 singing Lesser Whitethroats and an influx of Bramblings and Song Thrushes.

Pied Flycatcher
The sea was also very productive with a good flock of Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns fishing just offshore which through the course of the morning attracted at least 4 Black Terns, 5 Little Terns and an Arctic Skua.   A smart summer plumaged Black Guillemot flew east along with single Red-necked Grebe, Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, a Greenshank and a few ducks including Wigeon and Tufted Duck.
There was a similar selection of migrants at Kroghage in the afternoon as totals there included 7 Redstarts, 4 Pied Flycatchers, 4 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 20+ Willow Warblers and c20 Song Thrushes.
At least 60 Common and Arctic Terns were still off the point late afternoon where there was also a smart male Grey-headed Wagtail, an adult Little Gull and a male Blue-headed Wagtail.
A good varied day for Johan, Jen Lynch (who arrived last night for a few days) and myself especially considering the forecast first thing, tomorrow looks a better day as well (we'll choose to believe that forecast!) so should be good!

onsdag den 23. april 2014

Gotta be flexible

A bit of a mixed up day with the weather forcing us to change and re-change our plans a few times; we opened the nets as usual just before dawn and managed to catch a few things including a new Lesser Whitethroat and a Swedish control Dunnock but by 07:00 heavy rain had set in causing us to close the nets and focus our attention on the sea.
   Just before 7am a good movement of Terns had started and by 10am totals included 32 Little Terns, 170 Arctic Terns and 60 Common Terns along with a single Velvet Scoter, a Black-throated Diver, at least 43 Sanderling and a few flocks of Teal and Wigeon.   A little walk out to the tip mid-morning saw more Tern flocks passing with 3 Blue-headed Wagtails and 30 Swallows around the point.

With the forecast predicting rain right through until mid-afternoon at least, we settled down to an indoors day however, by 10:30 the rain had stopped and it was fairly bright so we went round and re-opened some nets.   We were fairly optimistic as when we were going round an early Wood Warbler was in full song with Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroat as backing singers; it was however a bit disappointingly quiet although the Wood Warbler was soon trapped along with 4 Willow Warblers and an array of Redpolls comprising 5 Mealies and 3 Lessers.

Wood Warbler

Two of the Redpoll trapped today - the top two photos are of a big, pale, cool looking Mealy but the bottom two are of the trickiest bird we caught, an adult male with a wing of 74.5 with quite a pale rump, pale cheeks, not much streaking on the underparts but quite a warm coloured mantle - its overall 'coldness' saw me put it down as a Mealy
A few random bits and pieces were seen as we were netting with an adult male Marsh Harrier cruising over, a Greenshank heading high to the east and a group of 3 Black-throated Divers past on the sea where flocks of Terns continued to move east but we had no time to keep track of any numbers. 
A look out on the tip late afternoon then produced yet more Terns heading out east with a mixture of Commons and Arctics seen, another Black-throated Diver, another Greenshank on the beach, a few flocks of Teal and Shoveler also heading east and 8 House Martins which had joined the hirundines mooching around the point.

tirsdag den 22. april 2014

An improving picture

Little change in the conditions with a brisk NE wind whipping through the garden but ringing was slightly improved with 18 new birds caught including 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Redpoll.   Also seen in the garden was the Hawfinch again briefly, at least 2 singing Lesser Whitethroats and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

One of the singing Lesser Whitethroats was this bird, presumably a returning local breeder as it was originally ringed here in May 2013
The day was more notable for some good visible migration through the morning with a good, steady stream of mainly Linnets and Meadow Pipits overhead (several hundred of each) along with smaller numbers of Redpolls, Goldfinches and Siskins, a single Tree Pipit and a few Swallows.
   The sea was also a bit busier than of late with a brief burst of Terns early morning producing 7 Little Terns, 2 Common Terns and 30 Sandwich Terns while 4 Black-throated Divers, 7 Sanderlings and brief views of a White Stork which flew east out at sea but promptly vanished into the murk as visibility was quite poor.   Single Marsh Harrier, Red Kite and Merlin were also on the move past the station.
A nice flock of hirundines lingering around the tip in the afternoon was comprised of 30 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins and a House Martin while 2 male Blue-headed Wagtails were feeding in the fields with 25 White Wagtails.
Other highlights through the day in no particular order included Hans bringing some more pastries for us, Johan coming back from the shops with some half price Easter eggs, a Grass Snake by one of the nets and a Roe Deer which only just avoided running through a net!

mandag den 21. april 2014

Thats why they call it Easter

The wind had dropped a little and it had clouded over (with a few drops of rain) making it good mist-netting conditions in the morning; the wind however was still in the East which - opposite to my UK East Coast / Northern Isles birding instinct, is not a good direction here in the spring.   As a result only 10 new birds were ringed including 2 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler.
   Another Hawfinch dropped in mid-morning and lingered the rest of the day and another Black Kite drifted over the station at lunchtime.

Managed to find a bit of migrant action in the afternoon with a walk round Kroghage where there were two, possibly three singing Lesser Whitethroats - the first of the year (with another singing in scrub near the harbour) 5 Blackcaps and the male Ring Ouzel still.

søndag den 20. april 2014

More of the same...

Another lovely, sunny, spring day but with a cold, brisk NE wind taking the shine off the fine conditions; with little change in the weather from yesterday it was no surprise that the morning's ringing was also similar with 12 new birds caught - there was a tiny bit more variety with a Yellowhammer, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs in amongst the Robins and Dunnocks.
   There was less to be seen around the station though with c12 noisy Bramblings around the garden at first light soon moving off and a trickle of Meadow Pipits overhead.   The male Ring Ouzel at Kroghage was heard giving a bit of a sub-song by Louis as he swapped the tip for some wandering round some bushes.

There was a bit of raptor action from lunchtime in the bright and breezy conditions with a Black Kite wandering round the point for a few minutes before heading off to the north (with it or another seen a few hours later north of Birkemosse) and a Rough-legged Buzzard doing the exact same thing two hours later - hardly impressive vis mig but I enjoyed it!   The only other bird I could come up with in the afternoon was another Ring Ouzel in a hedge at Birkemosse and the first Arctic Tern of the year fishing opposite the station in the evening.

lørdag den 19. april 2014

Wall to wall sunshine

Another lovely day with wall to wall sunshine and a light NE wind; this however contributed to a very quiet ringing session in the morning with just 11 new birds caught which comprised 7 Dunnocks, 2 Robins, a Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff.   A Hawfinch dropped in briefly early morning as did a Coal Tit a bit later on while a Red Kite, a Tree Pipit and 2 Swallows flew over and 2 Sparrowhawks whizzed around skilfully avoiding all the nets.

Louis also reported a quiet morning from the tip - apart from a healthy turnover of Easter tourists again with only a Serin and a couple more Tree Pipits of note.

There's something under the shed!

fredag den 18. april 2014

April showers

A very changeable morning kept us on our toes with a breezy first few hours limiting how many nets we could open giving way to a very calm rest of the session but this came with frequent and often prolonged showers.   This meant we definitely worked for our 17 new birds - opening the nets, closing the nets, opening them again, closing them etc. which included 2 Lesser Redpolls, a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap.

The two Lesser Redpolls
The second bird was certainly at the pale end for a Lesser but it was a bright adult male with a short wing of 71 and brown mantle - it does look at bit suspicious in this photo but I'm confident! 
(Redpolls are a nightmare!)
It was a generally quiet day really although there was a smart male Common Redstart in the garden, a migrant Sparrowhawk went high to the north and a big flock 1,700 Barnacle Geese came in from the north, round the point and went back west over the sea. 
The sea was very quiet with Louis reporting 770 Eiders and hardly anything else at all with more Easter tourists on the point than birds!

torsdag den 17. april 2014


Another nice start to the day but unfortunately it wasn't long before the wind picked up to become pretty cold and strong, forcing us to close a few nets early; despite this we managed 29 new birds through the morning with Dunnocks and Robins unsurprisingly still featuring heavily but the total did include 2 Willow Warblers and 3 Blackcaps.

Louis had an excellent start to his Easter holidays out on the tip as a female-type Blue-winged Teal flew east at 07:30 with a group of Shovelers; his other totals included 1,480 Eiders, 25 Shoveler, an Osprey north, 32 Brent Geese, a Red Kite south, a Marsh Harrier also south, 2 Cranes north and an Arctic Skua east.

I couldn't really add much else to the day really although there were 4 Swallows at the tip late afternoon and still one nice male Blue-headed Wagtail at Birkemosse with 25+ White Wagtails.

onsdag den 16. april 2014


Another glorious, sunny, warm spring day but unlike yesterday it was flat calm; during the early morning we could hear the yodelling of the Long-tailed Ducks drifting across from the sea while going round the nets - brilliant!   34 new birds were caught with 15 Dunnocks and 10 Chiffchaffs making up the majority of the total while a Sparrowhawk bounced out of several nets through the morning.

Other birds seen included 2 Wheatears just down the road, the singing Corn Bunting again, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a couple of Redshanks high up overhead.   The sea was quiet although 7 Little Gulls were reported off the tip, 40 Mute Swans flew west and a Canada Goose swam east (which may not be a proper migration!).

A walk north up the coast in the afternoon in still lovely conditions produced the highlight of 2 smart male Blue-headed Wagtails with 40 White Wagtails in the same field at Birkemosse, a cracking adult male Merlin carrying his lunch, at least 35 singing Chiffchaffs dotted around and a couple of singing male Blackcaps.

Speckled Wood

tirsdag den 15. april 2014

Weather forecasting

A gorgeous sunny, spring day, still breezy but not as strong as the forecast led us to believe especially during the morning's ringing session - its always good when it happens that way round but its usually windier than the 'experts' predict!   Managed 24 new birds through the morning with another small influx of 12 Dunnocks along with a Chiffchaff and a House Sparrow!

House Sparrow - although common in town they are quite scarce out here at the station, its the first one I've seen here since arriving; there were two more present as well!
A Swallow flew through, a Peregrine zoomed over in the afternoon and there was a random Egyptian Goose feeding in the field opposite the entrance gate with Herring Gulls and Woodpigeons!   Possibly the same Ring Ouzel was still at Kroghage in the afternoon while Scaup were down to 9 on the pools - after there being 17 on there pretty much every time I've looked!

Rose Chafer (possibly!)

mandag den 14. april 2014

Another lie-in

Rain in the morning let us have a good lie-in but when we could open some nets the strong westerly wind dictated the pace so we ended up fighting a losing battle from the start!   Managed to catch two new Dunnocks and a re-trap Greenfinch - the Greenfinch at least was vaguely interesting as it had a well developed brood patch indicating an early breeding attempt even though there are hardly any leaves on any of the trees yet.   I have also seen Blackbirds and Linnets collecting nesting material so perhaps its not that early.

One flock of 30 Bramblings flew over the garden in the morning while at sea there were a few Sandwich Terns along with 9 Brent Geese, 4 Red-throated and a Black-throated Diver, 4 Pintail and a couple of groups of Teal.

There were no birds to photograph so here's a caterpillar crossing the road!
I'd like to know the species if anyone could help?
Went out to the tip in the afternoon to try and find something to write about but all I could come with were a couple of Porpoises and a curious Grey Seal.

søndag den 13. april 2014

Froth on the daydream

A tricky kind of day with a few drops of rain just before dawn causing us to delay opening the nets and when we did there was a very brisk westerly wind making things difficult; all this, combined with very few birds in the garden meant it was a bit of a surprise that the first bird taken out of the nets was a cracking male Redstart - the first of the year!   As mentioned at the time though, this did prove to be the day's highlight as only 6 other birds were trapped, a bit of a slow start for Johan who has joined us for ten days or so but I'm sure it'll pick up.


Also seen from the station in the morning were a few Bramblings and a Serin overhead while a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were in full song.   A walk in the afternoon produced my first Swallow of the year, a Red Kite and more White Wagtails.

Louis again had a good range of species out on the tip through the morning including 3 Swallows (technically his beats mine as the first of the year!), a White Stork south down the coast, an Osprey, 3,209 Eiders, a Whimbrel, 150 Barnacle Geese and 6 Cranes.

lørdag den 12. april 2014

fog v sun

Early morning fog soon burnt off to leave a stunning, warm, sunny, calm morning but perhaps the weather was too nice for many grounded migrants as we caught 31 new birds; these did include however 4 Blackcaps and 7 Chiffchaffs while the numbers were made up of 11 Dunnocks.



Comma and Peacock making the most of the sun
The fog made a valiant attempt to reclaim the peninsula from lunchtime but was eventually driven off by mid-afternoon; a walk, north up the coast away from the fog v sun battle was pretty quiet with just an influx of White Wagtails of note including 45 in one field near Birkemosse.
Louis had a slightly frustrating morning out on the tip with a good range of species seen but passage was effectively halted twice by the fog coming and going several times; his highlights did include a Black Kite south, an Osprey north, 2,500 Eiders, 70 Barnacle Geese, a Merlin, two White-tailed eagles milling around, 2 Common Terns and 16 Curlew east while a Nuthatch - a scarce Gedser bird, was also hanging around.
Black Kite from the tip - Louis Hanson

fredag den 11. april 2014

Now its spring

Good ringing conditions in the morning - light winds and overcast, didn’t really produce too much with just 22 new birds caught; it did include however the first Willow Warbler of the year - now its spring (!), another new Firecrest, 6 Linnets and a White Wagtail.   Other birds seen included 35+ Siskins and a singing Corn Bunting while 780 Barnacle Geese flew east in several big flocks.

Willow Warbler - a huge male with a wing of 73mm, must be why it got here first!


There was little change at Bøtø in the afternoon with 3 White-tailed Eagles overhead, at least 6 Marsh Harriers, 6 Red-necked Grebes, a single drake Garganey, 5 Ruff, the pair of Cranes and 2,000+ Barnacle Geese.   We then drove up to a reserve near Majbølle on Lolland where, on the relatively small lake there were an impressive 4,000+ Tufted Ducks all jammed in together; there wasn’t too much else with a single Tundra Bean Goose with three White-fronted Geese, a single Red-necked Grebe and a pair of Bearded Tits in the reeds.

torsdag den 10. april 2014

Not a breath...

An amazing flat calm day, especially after yesterday's blow, produced high expectations that the morning's ringing session would be memorable; it was but through most of the morning it was steady, if unremarkable with 60 new birds caught - until the final round, when I extracted a stunning female Lesser-spotted Woodpecker from the net by the front door - only the fourth to be ringed here at the station and (more importantly!) the first I have ever seen in the hand!   Other birds caught included a new Firecrest and another influx of 20 Dunnocks with a Spanish ringed bird in amongst them.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

I'm running out of different angles to photograph Firecrests in the hand!

There wasn't really much else to be seen around the garden through the morning with a Mistle Thrush, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Buzzard of note while a Black-throated Diver passed at sea.

Kroghage in the afternoon was also pretty quiet with a Ring Ouzel, a Blackcap and a Marsh Harrier to mention - a gorgeous spring afternoon though!

Sadly this bird was found washed up on the beach by the marina - a fairly easy mystery bird photograph, any guesses?

onsdag den 9. april 2014

Only just enough nets.

A pretty windy day with a strong westerly making ringing a bit tricky!  We only just managed to get enough nets open for it to classed as a standardised session - it was worth it however as 17 new birds were caught including 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Bramblings, 2 Redwings and a single Robin which was the 500th to be ringed this year!   Yesterday's Firecrest and Treecreeper were also re-trapped.

Brambling and Black Redstart
The day was more notable for its visible migration with the highlight coming mid-morning when a Black Kite flew across the field in front of the station under head height battling into the wind.   Most of the other birds were also following this route - heading NW along the coast towards town including 200+ Linnets, 30+ White Wagtails, 10 Common Crossbills and 30 Rooks along with smaller numbers of Chaffinch, Siskin, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Jackdaw, Greenfinch, Woodpigeon and Starling while one each of Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk came in off the sea late morning.
The sea was quieter although 210 Sandwich Terns moved along the coast along with small numbers of wildfowl including 8 Brent Geese, two Shoveler and 3 Tufted Ducks while a big flock of 180 Long-tailed Ducks were lingering off the tip.
Back out to the tip in the afternoon where smaller numbers of birds were [almost] headlined by a probable drake King Eider seen flying away from me with a flock of Eiders (photos by Louis on the GFU website pushed me up to around 93% certain it was one!).   Other bits and pieces included a Greenshank, two Kestrels in off the sea and a trickle of Finches including 50+ Siskins.
Being out on the tip showed the route all this morning's birds were taking - they were heading south down the east coast of the peninsula, carrying on out to sea a short way before thinking better of it, turning round, coming back to the tip, often slowing down as if thinking "what the hell do we do now?" before heading off along the coast towards town past the station.