Tuesday, 4 April 2017
I'm spending a few days down in Charmouth, on the Dorset coast. It's a small, but busy town, the beach not ideal for birding, although local eyes have pulled the odd goody out of the ornithological hat in recent months (Glossy Ibis, Yellow-browed Warbler). The coastal path running east of here runs above an enormous cliff slump, then tops out on Stonebarrow Hill, a mosaic of meadows, scrub and hedgerows. It looks stunning and I can well imagine that frequent observation would be re-payed. In a few weeks time the lower slopes will be full of orchids. I went up there this morning, after overnight rain, and it was leaping - 60+ Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler and a Tree Pipit, most of the warblers in song that made for a wonderful aural treat. If I lived in Charmouth, this would be my patch. You cannot get any more tucked-up in Lyme Bay, and Portland Bill shows-off nearby sticking way out to sea, but this unspoilt bit of coast, all the way to West Bay, has bags of birding potential.