Freitag, 7. Januar 2011

Sylt's frozen beaches

A short look back to the end of 2010...

...and to the northern end of Germany with its northernmost island Sylt.

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Not a surprise any more: the very special (= early, snowy) winter season 2010/2011 in Central Europe.

The North Sea island of Sylt, located on the northwestern tip of Germany, is normally known for a very moderate climate during winter time. The "heat reservoir" North Sea makes sure that the temperatures are around or above 0°C during a normal/average winter.

But until 30 December 2010 there had been easterly winds with very low temperatures, so that the thermal storage system North Sea was subcooled to -3°C. As a result the Wadden Sea was frozen over and even the west coast beaches began to freeze.

The first two photos I took on New Year's Eve, at the "Hoernum Odde", at the southern tip of Sylt.
While parts of the Wadden Sea were already free of ice because of the tide, some spectacular icebergs sunbathed on the beach.

As far as I know these feathery little birds are known as dunlins [Calidris alpina] in their winter plumage.
Normally you see them running along the shoreline, but at very low temparatures they are on "energy saver mode" and so they try to hide behind the icebergs. They all stand only one one leg, to keep down the loss of heat as much as possible.

Right after Christmas I took these pictures of the frozen and snow-covered beaches south and north of Sylt's capital Westerland.

A few hours before we visited the beach the first time during our island sojourn, there was a snowshower, so that the whole island was covered with white, fresh snow.

At the end of our first beach day, right after sunset, the sky coloured the snow-covered dunes and the beach with its blue light. The most beautiful time to take (evening) photos: the blue hour...

1 Kommentar:

  1. Very interesting nature you have out there, Uwe. I'd be either a nature researcher or a nature photographer if I was there:)
    I like your statement: "blue hour". Yes. Indeed the most beautiful time to take shots looks like when it shows blue. I did the same when I was in Pamukkale visiting.