Sunday, 16 November 2008

Arrested Speed

Sadly the Speed Ferry service from Dover to Boulogne seems to have run into trouble after "Speed Ferry One" was arrested in Boulogne for non payment of port fees.

The terminal at Dover is the old Hoverport and and this has become a favourite roosting site for Gulls.
Last year both Iceland and Glaucous appeared there on one day and the site if often used in the winter by roosting Purple Sandpipers. We were chatting about this at St Margaret's today and the consensus was that we should check the harbour more frequently than we do. I decided to have a look, as it's Sunday and it's possible to find free parking. This wasn't a good move, the only Gulls were Herring and Both Lesser and Greater Black-backs with a few Black-headed around, there were no Purple Sandpipers, or any other waders for that matter, and the harbour was just about devoid of any birds.

From the cafe on the end of the pier (nice cup of tea) you do get a view of the harbour wall. Again I could only find the expected Gulls and Cormorants, perhaps the day was just too calm for anything interesting to be around.

The fortress like nature of the harbour wall is quite impressive. I think the original harbour walls go back to the 16th Century and the harbour was rebuilt in the 19th Century, but I haven't researched the history of the current harbour, a project that will be worthwhile this winter.

I noticed the Balmoral was in port. It's quite an impressive looking cruise ship, but it looks a bit big and formal for my sort of holidays. The Professor multanovskiy that took us round Spitsbergen is more to my liking.

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