Saturday, March 14, 2015

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky ....

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and sky,
I left my shoes and socks there,
I wonder if they're dry

Spike Milligan

Well, I did go down to the sea again today but kept my shoes and socks on, because it was hellish cold - but it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

After a browse around Tynemouth Market, we walked out onto Tynemouth piers ....

.... where we encountered this very handsome pigeon, with beautiful orange eyes and iridescent throat plumage, before we headed along the path to North Shields for fish and chips in the excellent Waterfront fish and chip restaurant ...

... passing these busy purple sandpipers that were feeding along the sea wall while they waited for the tide to turn.

After that we had a quick stroll alone Union Quay where this black-headed gull and ...

..... herring gull posed for portraits

As we walked back to the car park someone threw chips to the herring gulls, so predictably all hell broke loose as they scrambled for them. A  cacophony of herring gulls.

Then it was off along the coat to St.Mary's island, where the sun came out.

Lots of these beautifully patterned grey top shells Gibbula cineraria under the rocks around the rock pools...

 .... and even more of these hermit crabs to tease, by turning them upside down ...

..... and watching their contortions as they were forced to come out of  their shells to right themselves.

One very disgruntled hermit crab.


  1. The hermit crabs here have a dearth of shells to choose from, so we sometimes see them using plastic bottle caps or even plastic bottles of various shapes when they outgrow natural shells. One of my favorite activities is to present a hermit crab with an empty, right-sized shell and watch it move into new lodgings. They are fun to watch.

    1. Large shells are in short supply along our coast too. Have you see these?
      or even these?

    2. No I had not seen either site - very cool. I had actually thought about using a 3D printer to make shells; not that I have a printer!

  2. That quote always reminds me of the great Spike.

    Great set of pictures Phil.
    Love that series of the Hermit Crab.

    1. Thanks for reminding me where the rhyme came from!

  3. Spike is much missed, as Terry Pratchett will be.

    Lovely links to the crab houses, thank you.

    1. Hermit crabs remind me of the angry cowboy cartoon character Yosemite Sam

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    1. Hi Kate, there's an account of another encounter with hermit crabs at

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