Monday, May 04, 2009

A visit to the Calf of Man

Over the Easter week Kirstine and I went to the Isle of Man for some sea kayaking and exploring. We started off with a couple of short day trips.

Our first trip was to the southeast area to explore Castletown and the Langness Peninsula. The coastline is rugged with cliffs, gullies and deep caves.
Santon Burn is a deep sheltered gully with clear blue water and south-facing shingle beaches. The perfect sun trap lunch stop destination.

Another day trip took us to the northeast area of the island to have a look at Maughold head.

We continued on paddling south spending plenty of time rockhopping, sunbathing by a lagoon and exploring the wooded glen at Port Cornaa.

The highlight of the holiday was our trip over to the nature reserve on the Calf of Man.
The calm seas and light winds meant that we could paddle all the way round the island before finally landing. There is no camping allowed but we had booked some basic accommodation in the bunkhouse at the bird observatory.

In the warm sunny afternoon we took a walk around the island where we saw Willow Warblers, Wheatear, Chough, Stonechat, hundreds of seabirds and thousands of rabbits.

The wardens made us very welcome and even got the log fire going for us in time for tea. As dusk fell they allowed us to watch as birds were trapped, weighed, measured and ringed.

For most of our stay we were guests of Keirron Tastagh who runs Adventurous Experiences. He and his family always make me feel welcome and this trip was no exception.

1 comment:

nugget said...

Jimski,

I recently visited the calf as a volounteer, benefitting from the access to all areas assiting the wardens (gavin and sarah) on their daily duties such as moth trapping, long tail baiting, bracken bruising, bird ringing, area mapping and building the board walk to assist with the mist nets.
i was also lucky enough to see the nesting peregrins (all 3) parents and their juvenile. kestrils, seals (down at The Cletts) basking sharks and th nesting choughs and a manxy! (manx shear water - puffinus puffinus)
Any body who get the changce to go their should do it.

Mark