Swept away

Dennis The Storm has passed; a frenzy of gulls is fighting at the tide-line over the flesh of gale-wrecked Gapers

Herring Gulls get a bad press in this miserable country yet right now are looking fabulous: snow, silver and maybe banana.

At last I hear the clarion mew of newly arrived Med Gulls, still moulting towards spring, their black black hoods no more than a scarf, and as I admire one passing on pure white wings I count six Buzzards tumbling in the wind beyond it.

When last year I bought this iconic “Herring Gull” T-shirt, I complained that it actually showed a Yellow-legged Gull. I’ve just downloaded this image from the Present Indicative website to demonstrate the laughable error only to discover they’ve taken notice and corrected it – changed the legs to pink!! I still think the grey back is too dark but have done my bit.

A random run of big yellow shingle-shifters is hauling stones from a green digger at Winchelsea Beach to replenish the scoured sea defence. Waves have flung tongues of pebbles over the wall and down the grassy landward side. Will they be raked away or just left for the summertime flail-mower to send lacerating hurricanes of flint shards across the road?

Above the waterlogged marsh, five thousand Starlings (more or less) are manoeuvering like a big stretchy sock. through the sky where a lark is singing.

The brimming Salt Ditch drains with clattering splashes onto the shore.

SSSI moorlog has been further sculpted by fierce waves…

…but also compressed by the beach-feeding bulldozer into permanent corrugations that resemble fossilized wave-patterns in the sandstone cliffs.

Waves have torn away the top layer of this pickled forest, revealing roots, boughs & bark that have lain unseen for fifty centuries (give or take).

It’s half-term so the beach is suddenly peopled. They are all taking selfies.

Tangles tree-roots thrown up at Cliff End resemble the animistic sculptures from Alabama we saw at the Turner Contemporary.

The Cliff End cave has gone. Long-occupied already when situated miles from the river which is currently (temporarily) The Channel, its roof fell in last summer and now the whole lot has slumped into a rough cone of rubble. 2-3 pairs of Fulmars have been rendered homeless and a half-finished painting stateless. It wasn’t going very well anyway.

“Stonewalls”, the castellated 1930s folly has also been swept away, but this time by a tsunami of money.

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