Foraging

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West Bexington, Dorchester, UK

One of my favourite Jurassic Coast walks from West Bexington to Burton Bradstock in West Dorset.

Sun shimmering on azure waters amid a brisk, northerly breeze - a breeze that brings clarity and certainty.

It's foraging time. Siskins cavorting and diving for insects - crying their distinctive "tilu" call. The last of the graceful swallows, ready for their lengthy journey south flutter restlessly, making the most of the Autumnal rays. The early broods have long since departed - these are the last to go, swooping low to catch a few drops of water.

Anglers dotted along the sparking shingle stand tall, hoping for bountiful supplies of cod or targeting even larger catches of bass and ray, drawn by the steep beaches that fall away into the deep sea. Their brightly coloured tents a magnet for herring gulls screeching their displeasure at the human competition to the ocean's larder. A child, squealing with delight, net in hand, circles the rock pools. Crabs with their pincer claws and steely ewes are scavenging for small crustaceans. It's a feeding frenzy.

Brambles hugging the back of the shoreline still laden with plump, juicy blackberries and the hidden delights of the gleaming sloes tightly growing on the blackthorn bushes with their long prickly thorns. But beware - the wasps - slightly dozy perhaps following cooler nights. But once challenged, these yellow jackets are ferocious foes, pumping their abdomens as a warning to unsuspecting hands.

All have their place at nature's table.
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Near West Bexington, Dorchester, UK

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