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MOST EASTERLY POINT IN THE UK
December 2004 - Ness Point is now home to the most easterly wind turbine on the mainland UK.
The most easterly point in the United Kingdom, 52 29N 01 45E to the nearest minute. Despite its location, seawatching here is not as good as it could be, many birds seem to pass beyond the offshore sandbanks and then come back closer to the shore at Corton to the north and Pakefield to the south. Though lack of observers actually looking from there plays a large part, something which we have tried to remedy in recent years.
During 2001, when large parts of the countryside were inaccessible due to the outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease, Ness Point became a very popular venue. Unfortunately there is very little in the way of either shelter or seating available. We tend to sit on the raised blocks in the car park, though one of these blocks is coated in skateboard wax along one edge, so watch where you sit.
Alternatively you can watch from a car, but the railings can be a bit of an obstruction. The car park at the bottom of Links Road a little to the north is well suited for viewing from a car window in wet and windy weather.
Judging distances of birds out to sea is notoriously difficult, but due to the Holm Sand and various wrecks there are numerous marker buoys at varying distances offshore making it reasonably easy here. The map below (not to scale) gives the straight line distance from Ness Point to various offshore features measured from Admiralty maps.
The sewage outfall (O) has no marker buoy. The centreline of the sandbank (X) straight offshore from Ness Point is approximately 2 kilometres.
Purple Sandpipers Calidris maritima and Rock Pipits Anthus petrosus are the site specialities here each winter, though both have tended to become scarcer of late. This is particularly so of Purple Sandpiper, which recently has struggled to reach double figure counts.
The scenic splendour that is Ness Point, to the left we have the gasometer, and in the centre the circular building is the old sewage pumping station which was demolished in August 2001, and between the two the construction site for the new improved sewage pumping station!
This area is usually quite good for Black Redstarts.
A view out into the North Sea at dawn over Ness Point itself from the 'Euroscope', around the edge of which can be found direction and distance indicators to numerous European capitols.
Below the horizon line just to the right of centre can be seen the two yellow and black marker buoys which are about half way out (540 metres) to the sewage outfall. The outfall pipe itself ends one kilometre offshore and can be picked out when in operation because it is marked by an oily slick and (often) many feeding gulls!
Just to the north of Ness Point itself lies a man made concrete jetty, popular both with Purple Sandpipers and fishermen alike.
If you want to see the sandpipers you just have to hope no one is fishing there, or nicking the seaweed for that matter!
A flock of Little Auks Alle alle heading north past Ness Point on November 2nd 1995. A total of 146 flew north that morning here. A little to the south at Covehithe 641 were recorded heading north on the same date.
The view north from Ness Point towards the North Beach and Denes. The seaweed covered rocks and old seawall along this whole stretch are favoured haunts of Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones Arenaria interpres.
Looking south from Ness Point car park towards Lowestoft Harbour. The Purple Sandpipers frequently feed along the front of these rocks as well and can be very hard to find at times.