Sunday, 20 February 2011

Left My Soul There, Down By The Sea!

Dipper - today's target bird

Having recorded Dipper already this year is no reason to write them off until 2012, on the contrary this extraordinary family are always worth a look. The River Hooke at Maiden Newton was my last sighting, but since then there have been reports from Lyme Regis just a few miles to the west which was my destination today. With no time restriction on the 'bus pass' at week-ends the X53 service at 07-30 just filled the bill and by 09-20 I was there.

Unfortunately, no Dipper was seen but it was felt worth while to post these photos from the archive of a most remarkable little bird. On size and shape, more like that of a small Thrush, this bird was not created to dwell in trees or bushes no, it is more at home walking 'under water'! As the picture above shows, they survey the riverbed for likely prey

before plunging in, often from a rocky perch, and walk fully submerged to catch aquatic invertebrates.

The River Lym is also the home of Dippers which flows into the sea more or less in the centre of the town,

from where there is an adequate footpath to Uplyme a couple of miles inland to the north.

Picturesque throughout, the walk alone is worth the journey here and within 10 minutes of my start this morning

the first of c7 Grey Wagtails was seen.

It wasn't long after this the first of the 'characters' hove into view, and while I didn't get this gentleman's name I sure as hell enjoyed his company. During our conversation, it transpired that we both enjoyed singing (he Country, me anything I can lay my hands on), and Young Girl by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap neatly served as catalyst. Yes, some will guess what's coming, as we both stood on a bridge singing this at the top of our voices, and rumour has it that Simon & Garfunkel are sh*t*ing themselves!

All along the way are things of interest (like this mini canal running close to these cottages)

plus beautiful scenery, and

one or two more familiar 'waterbirds'. Mallard male.

Mallard female.

As you near the village of Uplyme there is this

beautiful, now defunct, mill and further on

I did rather like this bridge parapet covered in moss.

There were also a few Snowdrops in bloom

and this fungi which along with most others that appear herein remains unidentified.

Giving this nifty little cottage, tucked away in a woody glade, more than a once over I heard a familiar but long time absent birdsong from the bushes further along, and felt sure my ears were not deceiving me

as a male Blackcap reveled itself whilst continuing to sing from within the thicket.

video
I bought a snippet back for you!

It was now time to return to Lyme Regis which is probably most famous for its fossils,

and the harbour wall, known as "The Cobb",

which features in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, and in the film & novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, by local writer John Fowles.

The town was also home to Admiral Sir George Somers, its one time mayor and parliamentarian, who founded the Somers Isles, better known as Bermuda.

In conjunction with the above it was interesting to note this plaque on the wall of a solicitors office on the High Street.

The Marine Theatre probably qualifies as the least attractive architectural feature in the town, but for me was journey of nostalgia. I have lost count of the British Blues Legends it has been my privilege to hear perform here over the years, along with dozens of local bands. Some of these include (Mick Abrahms) Blodwyn Pig, Jon Hiseman's Colosseum, The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation plus many more.

Ain't Ya Coming Home Babe?

The theatre doors were open so I just bowled in to find the Lyme Regis Theatrical Group setting stage for their latest production, and by way of thanks for allowing me an uninterrupted 'memory jerker' here are the details.

Be there, or be Square!

A walk along the promenade is always great value here to note some of the unusual, but not displeasing, houses on the way.

This one still complete with lead drainage pipes and accompanying water trough dated 1768,
and the Volunteer Public House at the top of the High Street.

and a day at the 'Sea Side' would not be complete without and attendant

Herring Gull

plus close-up.
'The Sea'
Flocking to the sea
Crowds of people wait for me
Sea gulls scavenge
Steal ice cream
Worries vanish
Within my dream

I left my soul there,
Down by the sea
I lost control here
Living free

Fishing boats sail past the shore
No singing may-day any more
The sun is shining
The water's clear
Just you and I walk along the pier

Chorus

A cool breeze flows but mind the wasp
Some get stung it's worth the cost
I'd love to stay
The city calls me home
More hassles fuss and lies on the phone

from the album 'Big Calm' by 'Morcheeba

I would like to thank Scott (South African exile) for his company, my singing Partner, the gentleman and his son from The Gambia and the lovely lady from Bridport who held me spellbound with her conversation on the bus back. You all added to a very special day!

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