Looking at the weather forecast for the week, and the tides, this afternoon looked like my best shot at completing my BTO Non-Estuarine Waterbird Surveys (NEWS), I signed up for all the sections between Weston and Branscombe - a three mile stretch of beach! I parked up at Weston, walked down to the beach and then along the rocky shoreline to Branscombe where Dad kindly met me.
|Weston Beach - with the first interesting looking rocks in the distance|
|First time I've been down here for umpteen years, and I'd forgotten about this rare looking scrubby valley that leads right down to the beach - bet there's been a few Sibes in here over the years!|
|This is what most of the shoreline looks like at low tide between Weston and Branscombe|
|Another pic of the rocks - I love the dramatic light in this pic though|
|I can't tell you how pleased I was to get to here! Branscombe and Dad|
This stretch of coast isn't known for it's wading birds, so three Oystercatchers and a Curlew exceeded my dismally low expectations. A Grey Heron fishing in the rock pools was also a bit of a surprise. On the sea the waves made viewing difficult with just singles of Great Crested Grebe and Red-throated Diver, three Razorbill and a Guillemot noted. Over the sea three Common Scoter west were the highlight, along with a dozen or so Gannets and a reasonably steady passage of large, Common and Black-headed Gulls.
Looks like we've got a few rough days ahead, and there seemed to be good numbers of large Gulls around the patch today. I will be disappointed if by the end of the week I've not seen a white-winged or Caspian Gull. Watch this space...