Saturday 11 January 2014. The White Billed Diver.
An unexpected visitor graced our shores on this sunny day – The White Billed Diver. This incredible creature breeds in the Arctic and normally spends the winter out at sea in the northern Pacific Ocean. The recent windy weather blew it off course and into Brixham. And despite its remote lifestyle, it is surprisingly friendly.
Today the rain has stopped and it is a beautiful day. The harbor is bathed in sunshine with boats gently bobbing, casting shadows on a shining sea. The star of the day is, however, The White Billed Diver who struts his stuff near the jetty, much to his spectators’ delight!
This rare bird was spotted in Brixham: Jan 2014
Bird watchers have come to Brixham’s jetty to ‘twitch’ in their droves! Many move in large groups sporting expensive cameras on large tripods with huge lenses.They are all here to take advantage of this rare opportunity to see this amazing bird. One enthusiast explained that Brixham is a great place to spot many exciting breeds such as the Purple Sandpipers and Slovenian Grebe. But the rare specimen everyone wanted to catch on film was the White Billed Diver. Here is a photo taken by Chris Slack, (my favorite photographer with lots of his pictures around our Hotel.)
In addition, there are walkers enjoying the views, walkers with their dogs, and fishermen casting their reels.
It’s so exciting having all these people here, smiling and enjoying Brixham. I feel energized having soaked up the wonderful sun and spectacular views – buoyed up, ready for the year ahead.
Well we do seem to get a few film crews staying with us here at the Quayside Hotel in Brixham. Gregg Wallace from Masterchef fame came to stay earlier in the year and then a certain Mr Heston Blumenthal checked in.
Blumenthal was filming with his channel 4 crew Heston’s Fantastical Food – dishes that built Britain. Episode one “Fish & Chips” was filmed in Brixham.
Me (receptionist Vicky) with Heston Blumenthal on the Golden Hind in Brixham
One of the Golden Tickets to board HMS Chippy!
It was a bit like Willy Wonka coming to town – golden tickets were issued and we were lucky enough to get 5 and off we went to board the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind, which was turned into a floating Fish & Chip shop with a wonderful giant animatronic fish.
Obviously being Blumenthal nothing was what it seemed! All sorts of edible delights were tasted by the Quayside Hotel gang, as Blumenthal “deconstructed” fish and chips into his own marvellous creations :)
Blumenthal cruising the harbour overlooked by our Quayside Hotel
Big crowds gathered around the Brixham harbour to watch all the action, but if you didn’t see it, do watch out for us on your screens on Channel 4, Tuesday 10th December at 9pm.
We were blessed with sunny weather, fabulous foods and Heston was a very nice chap! He even stopped to pause for a photo to promote Brixham’s very own Fish festival, Fishstock.
Having him to stay in the hotel with his film crew was a real pleasure, and we hope to see them again the next time Blumenthal comes to Brixham.
For me, Heston Blumenthal is bloomin’ talented!