Amazingly, I woke up around 4:50am this morning and was out on the beach an hour later. Actually, maybe it was more like half an hour. I don't remember exactly.
In any case, I wandered down the beach, didn't see any raptors out yet, so I took a path that put me out the back of a caravan park. I followed the road and explored a set of shops by a service station (maybe here I could get some real breakfast cereal!). Of course they were shut and I had no money anyway so back down to the beach it was.
I finally spotted a kite and sneaked in for a closer look at the beautiful bird. Unfortunately I got too close and spooked it; this was obvious by the cry of alarm it made. Yes, they are shy birds. It took off further down the beach and of course gave me an excuse to explore that way further. It was joined in the air by its mate and they both alighted in a cluster of gnarled, open, sparsely foliaged trees thrusting out of the cliffside.1
Five minutes or so later I caught up and took a seat on a rock on the beach below - not too close but still a reasonable view (oh for binoculars or a camera!). The female at least didn't seem too perturbed by my presence as she preened away. They took to the air again shortly after a couple stopped to point and look at them.
I watched the kites for a while then lost sight of them. At that point I decided to head back and get out of the scorching sunlight.
Next time, I thought, I should take my sketchbook with me.
- I later found that this section of the beach was right below a sand blow.