Friday 1 November 2019

Today and Tomorrow


This morning I managed an hour at East Bexington before work. The Sallow Clump of Delight was leaping. Chiffs mainly, but also Goldcrests, Robins and a Firecrest again. Also a Merlin cruised overhead in a leisurely way. That's my third Merlin sighting since I've been venturing out here, compared with just a handful in umpteen years on the Axe patch. Not so many gulls around as previously, but obviously all of them were Med Gulls. There are very few dwellings at East Bex, but as the apex of nearly every roof in southern England bears the silhouette of a Black Redstart, I was hopeful. So far in this exceptional autumn for them I've seen none at all. Unfortunately, heading off to work, that was still the case.

I ate my lunch overlooking the sea at Freshwater Beach, between West Bay and Burton Bradstock. There's a holiday park here, with two or three hundred static caravans. More than enough roofs for a Black Redstart surely? Driving back through the park I crawled along very, very slowly, glancing left and right. Suddenly...

What a corker! And not on a roof!

That was more like it! Encouraged now, I ventured into West Bay, and in about five minutes of carefully trying not to bump into other road users while peering upwards I came across two more...

This somewhat smaller one on a building just south of the main car park...
...and this really tiny one on the tall apartments opposite the Bridport Arms Hotel

It would surprise me if there weren't more Black Redstarts in West Bay; I'm sure my rapid tour of the tiles didn't net all of them.


I could bore you stupid by outlining the tedious DIY chore that awaits me, but no, instead allow me to tickle your fancy with this...

All this before breakfast, even!

My BBC Weather App is forecasting gusts in excess of 70mph at West Bay! See that dark pink bit there? In my imagination it is a vast, throbbing horde of helpless seabirds, barreling wretchedly into the deepest bowels of Lyme Bay, that grim shore where seawatchers go to die. Those of us brave enough to be out there in it tomorrow are going to be clutching our chests and hyperventilating as a steady stream of Leach's Petrels and Sabine's Gulls struggles past at eye-popping range, and Grey Phalaropes pour down upon us like feathery hail...

As I say: 'in my imagination'...

The reality will be a lot of salty optics and cursing, which will last no more than one hour, tops.

I'm not quite sure what's going on here, but six posts in six days suggests that someone else must be writing NQS at the moment...


  1. Well whoever it is Gav, it's good to see they are maintaining standards of authorship.

  2. Keep it up Gav, here's to the rise of the blog! Some great posts you have from the other end of the country. Firecrests daily, multiple Black Redstarts etc, whats not to like...!

  3. Ric, Stewart, many thanks to you both. Nice that it seems to be flowing just now. That's not always the case!