Monday, 21 November 2011

Lyme Regis Revisited

There was no need to even get out of bed this morning to view the prevailing weather conditions, they could be heard rattling against the windows. Regardless of that, I had made a decision even as far back as Saturday, when we first saw the Spotted Sandpiper, to return for both a closer look and hopefully some clearer pictures. As it was neither was achieved, but there doesn't have to be a rare bird there to entice me back to

Having spent many, many fantastic days in the town, with a whole variety of company, my return earlier in the year certainly rekindled my love of this place and I wouldn't be surprised if longer periods were spent there in the future?

The map shows the close proximity to Weymouth & Portland which is only 90 minutes on the X53 bus. Today however there was to be a huge and unexpected bonus, as at Chickerell my long time friends Kenny and Lilian Parker boarded the bus, and try as I did to hide they soon spotted me!

They too were after the American Wader so we started our search where it had last been seen two days ago. Not immediately apparent as it had been on Saturday, we did see Pied Wagtail and

the female Black Redstart but no sign in the first hour at least of the male. The rain had become intermittent and the gloomy conditions were not making for good images, so we decided to get a coffee and a grit slice of 'home made' Dorset Apple Cake.

Suitably refreshed we walked around the sweep of the Bay and along the Harbour Side

spotting as we did so just Herring Gull and

Black-headed Gull.

Even before reaching The Cob, with not a French Lieutenants Woman in sight, I had spotted a number of small, dark Waders on the

extended Rocky Breakwater, with one looking much paler than the others.

It was, much to the Parker's delight, the Spotted Sandpiper and a Dorset 'first' for both of them.

Much further away than on Saturday and given the worsening conditions there was no chance of improving on the images, but through Ken's telescope we got acceptable views of it

and the accompanying 11 Purple Sandpipers.

Spotted Sandpiper, which it is hoped will stay at least for the next 9 days so it may be added to the 'ongoing' December List, in close proximity to

Purple Sandpiper

Not quite soaked to the skin, we nevertheless decided to be happy with what we had achieved and high-tailed it back to

The Town, now viewable from a completely different angle back across the bay.

On our was we counted 14 Rock Pipits taking advantage of the recently formed puddles both to drink and bathe.

We were also lucky enough to bump into these 3 fine fellows on a birding trip from Finland. I greeted them by saying "I've got some 'good news for you" which seemed lost in interpretation as the reply was "no, no we have not seen anything of the rare bird". When it was realised what we were saying there was some jubilation and a returned gesture of telling us that

the male Black Redstart was in fact there with the female. On the walk to the bus stop, the 3 of us agreed that it was a great end to the day not only to welcome foreign guests to our shores but to get them onto a good bird as well, as it has often happened to all of us during our trips overseas.

It really is a treat to walk up through the town centre, where Kenny spotted

this plaque on a wall. It looked like the local council workers erecting the huge Christmas Tree in the town square as well as smaller versions above shop fronts. In the process, they had taken the opportunity to clear weeds out of some of the roof gutters, temporarily throwing them into the road.

This was where once again 'Keen Eyed Kenny' spotted these 2 Slugs slithering from the vegetation.

He seemed to think that they are Leopard Slugs (never heard of them myself) but checking up via images in Wikipedia it looks as though he's spot on!

There was just time to admire this frieze above a shop doorway before the bus arrived and took us safely home. A great day in a fine place with the very best of company - Thank You Kenny & Lilian.