Monday 9th February
Goodbye to Claire and Craig at Wilton Geuest House and around the harbour to get to Nothe Forst. Immediately a female black redstart flew in front of me. Great start to the day, new year list bird, it was soon joined by a smashing male.
After photographing these I went along the sea wall path and saw a close kingfisher, a grey wagtail and a chiff chaff.
After such a glorious morning of birding in fabulous sunny and windless weather, the cycling journey took over the day with hill after tortuous hill and white-knuckle ride downhill stretches. A stop for lunch at Abbotsbury preceeded the first of these 'mountains', a long push which was rewarded with meeting two lovely ladies, Julie and Pippa. They had enjoyed the view of not only Chesil Beach stretching into the misty distance but of me struggling up the hill. Pippa runs a business selling native artefacts from Africa and it was lovely to have a chat with them both. I saw them on a couple of occasions later, well heard them as they pipped their van horn and waved anyway.
Six big hill pushes I counted during the day, via Bridport and Lyme Regis. The latter gave me the biggest disappointment of the Biking Birder 2015 tour so far. The cafe where I had enjoyed a superb apple crumble and custard back in 2010 had just closed. “You *****rd”, I joked with the Scouse cafe owner at the door
On reaching Beer Youth Hostel in the dark and having heard 3 tawny owls giving various hoots and quee-wit calls, the evening was spent talking with three youth hostel inmates, 2 Andrews and Griff.
Year list now stands at 137. Next it's off to Aylesbeare RSPB reserves and the various RSPB reserves around the Exe Estuary over the next few days.
Now please have a look at the photographs of today on my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/bikingbirder2015
Also if you could please make a small donation to any of the charities that I am supporting then please click on the links to the right. Thanks.
All the very best everyone. Love to you all xx