Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Visiting old friends

It's half-term so I've been visiting old friends. First up was Swineham, with whom I was pleased to reacquaint myself after a lengthy absence. Next came a trip to Lyme Regis to see my two godsons and their parents, old college friends.
Male Bearded Tit - Swineham, 25th October
Female Bearded Tit, Swineham 25th October
We took a walk along the impressive new coastal defences to the east of the town before climbing up the hill to watch the first half of Lyme Regis v Cullompton Town. The new sea wall appears to have come a bit late for Lyme FC, as the pitch slopes perilously seawards a couple of yards in from the touchline. The players had enough trouble controlling the ball without that to deal with: the match would best be described as a perfectly good game of running around spoilt by very occasional outbreaks of football.
Buzzard, Bestwall, 25th October
Chiffchaff, Swineham, 25th October
Monday saw us heading from one World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast, to another, the City of Bath, to meet up with a friend visiting from Australia, at a gathering which my god-daughter also attended. With all three godchildren thus met in the space of a few days, and their annual dose of spiritual guidance administered, it was time for some birding today.
Little Egret, Holes Bay, 27th October
Redshank, Holes Bay, 27th October
In previous years, the last week of October has given me the chance to see some pretty good birds: Eastern Crowned Warbler (2014), Hermit Thrush (2013), Stejneger's Stonechat (2012), and Steppe Grey Shrike (2011) to name a few. There's been nothing quite so exotic within reasonable striking distance so far this week, so I returned to my checklist to see what still needed snapping for the photo yearlist.
Poole Harbour from Baiter Park
Corfe Castle from Baiter Park
Turns out that Common Scoter and Oystercatcher were still on the wanted list, so I headed to Holes Bay where two of the former have spent the last few days. The Scoter, both drakes, were a good distance out at first but came a little closer in poor light. Oystercatcher was always going to be easy, though I'm not quite sure how I've managed to miss them so far this year. Hopefully there are a few more easy ones to dig out before the list grinds to a halt for the year.
Common Scoter, Holes Bay (#230th species photographed in 2015)
Oystercatcher, Holes Bay (#231)

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