Sunday, 29 January 2012

With A Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles

It's always worth remembering that no matter how many analogies you make to playing cards, if Lady Luck isn't in attendance you might just as well stay at home. In the same way as yesterday the dark, rain baring clouds soon rolled away, the sun was blinding and the predicted chill had set in.

It was a rare privilege to be invited to visit the Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, as the collection of plants here are in many ways unique, but there was an ulterior motive!

A walk up to the top of the grassy knoll is access to the Jurassic View looking, in the first instance, to the east and the full length of The Fleet and onward (if there was no glare) to Portland.

While to the west little more than an ancient canon, it's much better in real life.

Paul Harris, my guide for the day, looks back to see if I've got my breath back yet!

A beautiful place indeed, but especially having the whole 30 acres to ourselves.

Features include Ornate Garden Sheds,

Moss clad Oak Trees.

a number of ponds, with this one having hosted an Otter in the past.

Both Daffodils and

Snowdrops where nearly in full bloom,

a Japanese Bridge,

plus a magnificent

Sculpture Garden

but then the first object of my desires

one of 3 Firecrest an addition to the Year List

On the way back to pick up the hire car, the ladies of Abbotsbury were in their Sunday Best riding attire, but I really did have to get myself going. A drive to Devon had the potential of adding another 3 species to the list, but trumps and Ace's were being heavily lent on.

At the Exminster Marshes Car Park the news was not good, as what should have been an academic Long-eared Owl but a f... whoops dog owner had flushed it from its roost since when it had not been seen. Disappointment followed disappointment as the Red-breasted Goose had also flown of, heavens knows where, but there was still a chance.

A male American Wigeon has been resident at Dawlish Warren for the past few weeks, but is only visible around 'high tide'. Spring tides are evident at the moment, and when did I arrive? at exactly Low Water.

This Reserve is renowned for its long, deep sand walk across the dunes to the Warren Point which I undertook, ending up at the hide but the local birders suggested it would be a few hours before there would even be a chance.

It was time to abandon and take a long rethink on strategy, so rather than heading further north I took another look for the Owl and Goose before returning home. I am still in the thought process as to direction, but tomorrow, weather allowing, I'll be at it again.

All of this has been made a great deal easier with information received from
John Gifford, Sheila Edwards, Paul Harris, John Down and Ian Lewis,
all of whom
I Thank Very Much.

The Game Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings!

The Year (January) List now stands at 193


  1. Come on, Bagsy, you can do it!

  2. If not Simon we'll go down fighting - Thanks!
    Yours aye