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Squid and Iceland Gull, Sandsend

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My only encounter with a live as yet unidentified squid was whilst watching an Iceland Gull on Sandsend beach. The beautiful creature measuring approximately 40cm was washed onto the beach, squirting its powerful water jet propulsion system in an attempt to make it back to safety. It was very alive, with tentacles writhing as I picked it up. A real privilege to see such a mysterious creature and indeed hold it before returning it to deeper water.

Squid and Iceland Gull, Sandsend, Whitby- watercolour in sketchbook
Squid and Iceland Gull, Sandsend, Whitby- watercolour in sketchbook
bird behaviour, Sketchbook

Iceland Gull- Sandsend, Whitby

A memorable day on the east coast started in Whitby. A walk along the pier produced at least 17 purple sandpipers, a pair of guillemots and a few turnstones. Runswick Bay held a single red-throated diver which fed very close to the lifeboat station. As I descended into Sandsend an Iceland gull literally flew in front of the car. I pulled into the car park and enjoyed watching it for at least half an hour. I was stuck by it’s soft pale plumage especially so when seen against the dark cliffs. It settled on the beach by the car park and also rested in the water, in between giving me a few spectacular low passes. A very attractive gull with a distinct gentle expression which I aimed to capture in my sketches.

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Whitby- 29th January 2014

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Stormy sea at Sandsend, 29th January- watercolour in sketchbook
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Dark- bellied brent goose and purple sandpipers from Whitby Pier- watercolour in sketchbook
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Drake eider in Whitby Harbour- watercolour in sketchbook
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Herring gull sharing my fish and chips, Whitby Harbour- watercolour in sketchbook

An inspiring day on the Yorkshire coast around Whitby. Churning seas and feeling bitterly cold in a strong south easterly wind.