Thursday, 6 April 2017
Of Purps, Dippers and patches
My short stay at Charmouth is over, and once more I was able to sneak out and get quite a bit of birding under the belt - even 'shopping' excursions to Lyme Regis had 'smash-and-grab' raids carried out on Purple Sandpipers and Dippers.
A minimum of four Purple Sandpipers frequented the rocks at the end of the Cobb, and a walk along the river at the edge of town produced a Dipper.
It was my good fortune to meet up with Charmouth-based birder and blogger Richard Phillips (you can read all about his finds here). He kindly gave me a tour of a part of his impressive patch, an area where the river meets the beach, fringed by copse and reeds. It screams out rarity! We spent a most pleasant hour casually birding whilst chatting, the sun warm enough to encourage a good few butterflies onto the wing. Charmouth is blessed with clifftop paths that take you into stunning scenery like this:
This is the cliff slump due east of the town. Standing up here I could hear a number of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps singing in the trees below. You would easily be able to hear a Golden Oriole...
A bit further along, and higher up, is Stonebarrow Hill, which gives commanding views down onto Westhay Farm, the hedgerows snaking up from the cliff tops. Last August I sat by one of these 'green corridors' and watched a procession of warblers pass me by. Richard is a lucky chap to have all of this on his doorstep. By the way, you can just make out the island of Portland in the picture above.
I'll leave you with this Wren, blasting away in the sunshine, just about summing up a beautiful few days of unseasonal fine weather.