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WEATHER: all day sunshine, very light breeze, a perfect day

Well that was unexpected, wall to wall sunshine very little wind and some superb light, what a great day. After breakfast Dawn and I headed down to the coast to Cogden Beach and we walked along the beach eastward to West Bexington. It was 11am when we arrived at Cogden, the car park was half full which was another nice surprise.

Our walk took us through some muddy fields behind the pebble beach and alongside a vast reedbed, we both had our binoculars with us and we started spotting birds from the car park. Robin and Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Starling, Jackdaw and Rook were first on the list. Down by the beach we found the first of many Common Stonechats a couple of Meadow Pipits and not much else.

Further along the beach towards West Bexington we came to the nature reserve where large seasonal pools held a few Mallards and lots of gulls. It was nice to see so many Mediterranean Gulls with the Black-headed and Herring Gulls. We found a single Dunlin in a tiny pool along the edge of the track, it allowed quite a close approach before flying off over the reedbeds.

one of the pools at West Bexington Nature Reserve - most of the gulls pictured are Mediterranean Gulls

A small party of Reed Buntings were nice to see, my first for the November list and we heard a Cetti’s Warbler calling from the scrub but it never showed. The gulls all went up when a Chinook Helicopter came over, it was very and made such a noise, I thought that this type of aircraft was not allowed to fly over Nature Reserves??

A low flying Boeing CH-47 Chinook Helicopter causing havoc over the nature reserve

Many of the gulls stayed up in the air and began feeding on flying insects, I estimated that about 80 gulls were up there and most of them were Mediterranean. The sunshine encouraged a few butterflies to take to the wing, we saw a single CLOUDED YELLOW and half a dozen Red Admirals.

'A flock of seagulls' - do you remember the seventies band from Liverpool of that name?

At West Bexington we sat on a wall in the lovely sunshine and ate our picnic lunch, we had tea and coffee with us too. The journey back didn’t add Many birds to our list but we did see Linnets, Goldfinches, a Kestrel, a flock of Starlings, some House Sparrows, two Ravens, a Common Buzzard and a small flock of Skylarks, we really enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the fantastic light.

the light began to fade as we got back to the car park

There is often a downside when I go out with Dawn for the day! Today’s downer was a visit to a Garden Centre in Bridport, my wallet took a bit of a knock but it wasn’t too bad, nowhere near as bad as the spring bashing it took!

Well, tomorrow heralds the new ‘lockdown’, it looks like I am confined to barracks for a month so I am going to bore you with garden and Yeo Valley sightings for a while.