Given the closeness of the isobars on this mornings weather chart, my feeling was that the 'weather system' gathering in the Western Approaches would be with us long before the forecasters predicted 16:00. The clouds already looked rain filled, but there was just a gentle breeze and it remained mild so I hopped on the X53 bus heading west. Unfortunately, today turned out to be more about Bird Reserves than the birds themselves, but this post maybe useful for those within striking distance and FREE to the 'over 60's'.
If a drive along The Jurassic Coast were not enough, through villages such as Abbotsbury and
affording views of some of the most uniquely beautiful coastline in the world (here looking back from half way up Abbotsbury Hill to the west end of the Fleet and across the Sub-Tropical Gardens)
and then from the top with the view now including Portland, then just wait until you reach the tiny East Devon village of
Barely warranting a bus stop as it's so small,
there is only St Micheal's Church which is of any note architecturally, but here it is the Nature Reserves that hold the interest.
The first, and last, time I was here was the 14th October 2010 when Solitary Sandpiper was added to my Great Britain list and even then there was much work underway, so if nothing else any progress could be viewed.
The Boardwalk across the Common is now complete, getting you dry footed to the hide that was in place last time, and
opening up some good views across the marshes.
adjoins Colyford Common, and this is where most of the work has taken place.
Finger Posts direct to the
Field Studies Base
The Tower Hide gives a little elevation and almost a 360 degree panorama
again covering much of the marsh. Luckily the rain had held off during this 3 hour visit so it was
During this most interesting walk I only raised the large lens camera twice, both times capturing 'redbreasts'. Firstly this male Bullfinch, and secondly
an equally smart Robin. Other birds on the Reserves included Shelduck, Curlew, Teal, Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret, Song Thrush, Grey Heron, Redwing and Kestrel while I doubt it will be long before someone finds another rarity on this area of so much potential!
A note on the Forecasters, they had it 'spot-on' as there rain started just a few paces from home, at 16:00 precisely - Well Done!