Open University Exploring Nature Walk
Monday October 1st Abbotsbury Beach
As we arrived at the car park the clouds parted and what had been a very wet morning turned into a very pleasant autumn day.
The brisk south-westerly wind promised more seabirds than were actually delivered but we did see three species of gulls and a distant Common Scoter as we walked along the beach towards the Fleet.
The only other seabird seen was a Guillemot - but that was dead!
Chesil Beach has a number of interesting shingle beach species growing on it at this time of year - such as this Sea Kale:
...and this Sea Campion:
We also found large blocks of peat on the beach, washed up from the ancient floor of the Fleet which is now out at sea. Ian West's web site 'Geology of the Wessex Coast of Southern England' gives the date of these at about 6,000 years old.
Reaching the tank traps the lucky few that got there first were treated to a close view of a Kingfisher, as were those that persevered and waited for it to come back.
Out on the Fleet we could mostly see Coot, hundreds of them, but amongst them were a few grebes and duck discernible through the telescopes.
The walk back beside the Tamarisk bushes added a few more birds to the list including close views of Kestrel and Buzzard as we got back to the car park.
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