West Bexington was the venue for my holiday in May last year, and I think most of the information about it was in the guinea pigs’ blog when they came back. I’m revisiting places I’ve watched birds in this area, based on the information in Where to Watch Birds in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight, which I reviewed at the start of the month. It’s all part of my 30 Days Wild blogging this year.

West Bexington and the Dorset Coastal Path

My cottage was way up the hill above the beach, and the village was halfway down and at the bottom. I think my parents used to stay at the hotel about three quarters of the way down. And, even earlier in my life, I used to go on pony riding holidays at Burton Bradstock, which is just a couple of miles along the shingle beach. Since my feet weren’t up to walking that far (and back) on pebbles, I took the car when I went exploring there!

The shingle beach is part of Chesil Beach, which stretches for about fifteen miles from Burton Bradstock to Weymouth. In the Weymouth direction, it splits from the mainland to provide a lagoon, the Fleet, upon which (on the land side) is Abbotsbury Swannery. I gave you an extensive guide to that last year.

And while I found the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s small but lovely reserve at West Bexington, I didnt see half the birds I might have seen had I had the Where to Watch Birds guide last year. The Fleet is stacked with them, east, west, both sides. I think a full day at Abbotsbury just watching from the hides would be well worthwhile. Apart from gulls, ducks and swans, I saw Great Crested Grebe, Common Tern, Cormorant, Little Egret, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and lots of common spring and resident birds.

Mind you, West Bexington was not shabby in terms of species. One evening I saw eight species including Cetti’s and Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and some Little Terns in just half an hour on the beach. A dedicated morning wandering around the little reserve itself (lots of bushes, a large pond, grass, reeds, hedgerows, trees) brought me 23 species, the best of which was seeing a Snipe, a Whitethroat, and possible Nightingale, which I tried to catch on a recording, but thought of it too late, and just got a little shout-out which is hard to confirm. But I don’t think it was anything else.

Radipole Lake

Radipole Lake photo from RSPB website

On the other side of Weymouth is a lovely RSPB reserve at Radipole Lake. It’s really easy to find as all the main roads into Weymouth go past it. You just have to find the right exit from the roundabouts! It’s been along while since I met up with my friend and former next-door neighbour, who lives at Weymouth now.

We had a lovely visit there, with walks on gravel paths though the reedbeeds and then discovering places to view the scrapes and ponds. I don’t remember Marsh Harriers there then, although I gather they have them now. In fact, I checked my Birdtrack records (which I only started in 2008), and discovered I visited on 1st October 2009, listing fourteen species seen in one hour: lots of gulls, ducks and common waterbirds, plus Cetti, Chiffchaff, Robin, Blue Tit and Linnet.

I must contact my friend and go to visit her again.

Other Wild Things since the last post

  • making hay now ‘no mow May’ is over
  • watching BBC’s Springwatch which includes footage from Arne (see Thursday’s post)
  • Butterfly count in the garden: Small White, Holly Blue
  • carried out a PoMS FiT count (Pollinator Monitoring Scheme: Flower-Insect Timed count))

West Bexington, Dorset #30DaysWild
Tagged on:                 

4 thoughts on “West Bexington, Dorset #30DaysWild

  • 6 June, 2023 at 7:28 am

    This is all a beautiful part of the country and full of wonderful creatures and birds. Thank you for the lovely reminder 💜

  • 6 June, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    I’m finally getting out a little after my abrupt halt to outdoor activities. I may be more likely to sit in the forest and count the leaves, but getting a little wilder this month is big for me!

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: