Sunday, 15 July 2012

To the lighthouse!

Killantringan Lighthouse
It's been another long break between camera outings, but during the last week I have managed to get out and about in Scotland - during a week of amazingly nice weather in comparison to the rest of the UK.

Knock Bay
In between bouts of wall building and painting we made a few trips out and a star day was the trip to Killantringan Lighthouse. It has a nearby car park overlooking Knock Bay and is the point where the Southern Upland Way (which starts in lovely Portpatrick) cuts inland. As usual across the Rhins of Galloway there were miles of farms with a variety of livestock (well varied sheep and cattle).  We dropped down to the coast on a road guarded by cattle grids, separating sheep, suckler herds and young beef cattle fattening on the lush grass.  Galloway does grow good grass.
We parked up and enjoyed the fabulous scene across Knock bay, hugely busy with people - well OK - maybe just the one family of about 6 people, enjoying the huge stretch of hard packed sand left by the receding tide. Having tossed a coin on direction we headed south along the Southern Upland Way, past the lighthouse, Portamaggie and Portavadie, following the cliff top path.  Every spot had a special view and the peaceful location boasted only the natural sounds of the coast - waves on the cliffs, gulls, kittiwakes, larks and pipits.

Lesser spotted orchid
Bird's foot trefoil
We passed through one gate to find there had been no grazing beyond it, and the difference was amazing. Swathes of different grasses, reminding me of the hedgerows and hayfields I passed as a child, full of flowers. There were flowers I cannot (yet) name, to my shame, as well as a spectacular collection of lesser spotted orchids. We sat and enjoyed them for a while hoping that the birds would forget us and come closer too - to no avail - distant views of stonechats, pipits, wheatear, grouse, gulls and kittiwake were all we got!



Variety of grass in front of the foghorn