Monday 31 May 2021


Summer will be here in a few hours. As forecast, the final day of meteorological spring has been sunny, warm and dry. In fact the whole bank-holiday weekend has been good, attracting visitors from far and wide. As I went past Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at about 05:20 this morning the campsite looked about as full as it can get. By 08:30 I was home again. Such anti-social hours are certainly one way to beat the coastal crush.

It was worth the early start. A nice bunch of waders on the beach - 30 Sanderlings and a Turnstone - and a west-bound Red Kite which was hassled out to sea for a while by two Crows. I didn't venture inland very far, but I reckon any Golden Orioles would have been perfectly audible. A few pics...

Grey Seal heading away east with purpose

Turnstone on the left; Sanderlings on the right, ignoring it

Turnstone. Not a common wader locally...

...but a very attractive one.

West Bay in the distance. It's 07:05, but already a few non-fisherman bodies on the beach at Burton Bradstock, just before the cliffs.

07:07, and my third backpacker of the morning checks out some of the waders.

Red Kite makes its way back to land, yelling crossly...

...and up towards the coastal ridge.

Another way to avoid the coastal crush is to sit indoors and review the night's nocmig recording. This is a terrific idea if you fancy having your eardrums perforated by a Little Grebe bellowing down the microphone...

And finally, a third way to avoid the coastal crush is to not go there at all. After lunch Sandra and I headed inland a bit for a stroll around a local nature reserve. In a couple of hours we encountered just two other couples. Perfect. Even perfecter, we got an unexpected butterfly tick. Grizzled Skipper. Because I've never really bothered with butterflies there are many gaps like that one.

And it wasn't just butterfles...

Green Tiger Beetle, the first I've seen for years.

Female Broad-bodied Chaser.

There were a few Dingy Skippers, all a bit camera-shy

Grizzled Skipper. What a smart little butterfly.

And again, set off nicely by a few speedwell and forget-me-not flowers. At least, I think that's what they are.

And that's about it for spring. June will soon be here, with its flimsy promise of rare stuff and little else. Last year was too good to be true, so I suspect the next few weeks will go like this:

Non-birdy distractions.

Thinking about autumn.


It could be a long summer...


  1. I do love a green tiger beetle. I too haven't seen one for years.

    I think that we should kick some grass over the crap spring and go and enjoy the summer, find another angle to your hobby. Hmm? Long lens camera, girlie sunbathers, yup, I'll still check in on your blog.

    1. I've just coughed up for his 'n' hers rod licences. Maybe that's 😉

  2. Maybe even a spot of cycling perhaps?