Sunday, 30 August 2020

Mostly Chatting

Slightly photo-heavy post coming up. Lovely sunshine today, and quite a few birds demanding camera time. Give the P900 a bit of light and it does a nice job. Not being a proper photographer I expect I am easily pleased, and I've no doubt my sense of composition isn't great, but boy, it's good fun...

I started early this morning at Burton Bradstock and Cogden, and got out again late afternoon/evening, taking in a bit of East and West Bexington. Mostly it was a day of Wheatears and Whinchats, with a few other bits and bobs to spice the mix.

Overall totals as follows: 59 Wheatears, 32 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Whinchats, 2 White Wagtails, and singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Great Northern Diver and Merlin. Waders were represented by a Sanderling on the beach at E Bex, plus Dunlin and Ringed Plover, both heard only. Regular warblers were thin on the ground, but included a Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. Basically it was one of those days which feels quite birdy, but holds back the really good stuff. Very enjoyable though.

First, let's get the Wheatears out of the way. All photos from Cogden Beach this morning...

Almost uncropped, this one. Ridiculously obliging for a Wheatear!


Okay, so none of those were particularly 'birder's photo' type material, but Whinchats seem to be even more skittish than Wheatears, so one or two of the following are a closer fit...

Cogden Beach. A very blurry Beer Head in the background
Again, lovely blue sea in the background
East Bexington, in a maize field
West Bexington

Finally, a few odds and ends...

Great Northern Diver off East Bex
One of two White Wagtails at East Bex. Much range, much heat-haze.
Sanderling, also at East Bex.

Being the August bank-holiday weekend it is heaving with tourists down here. The nice weather has encouraged many to basically camp out on the beaches, so here are a couple of photos to illustrate what it's like right now. Both taken from the same spot at East Bex...

Looking E towards Abbotsbury...
...and W towards Burton Bradstock

The red arrow in the last photo is pointing at yesterday's Burton Bradstock rock fall. It is 4 miles away, but that massive pile of collapsed cliff is really obvious. Mind you, it turns out I wasn't in quite as much potential peril as I may have suggested in yesterday's NQS post. I had a look at it this morning, and the fall was closer to the car park than I thought, slightly E of where I actually join the clifftop path. Also, no way is the cliff as high as 160ft at that point. Mind you, it truly is an enormous rock fall, and if anyone had been on the beach below when it collapsed, well, that would have been curtains for sure...

So, finally finally, the evening draws in at West Bexington, and the birder wonders what tomorrow will bring...

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