I go away for a few days holiday, leaving St Abb's Head looking like a winter wonderland, and I return just a few days later to find it all green again. And what do I see when I go up to the lighthouse - guillemots on the cliffs? Enough to make me feel like I have just woken up from a few months hibernation!
On the whole guillemots tend to disappear out to sea after they have finished breeding in July. Then they spend the winter out at sea, and return to their nest sites to start the whole breeding process again in April. But every now and again, some of the birds turn up on the cliffs during the winter months. No-one is really sure why they come back in, as they really are seabirds in the true sense of the word, being far better adapted for life on the briny than on land. And there doesn't seem to be any pattern to it either, so it is just a matter of chance as to whether you happen to see them or not. But it is a welcome sight (and sound!) when they are in, because however magnificent the coastline may look out of the seabird season, the cliffs still seem to be lacking a certain something!