Saturday, 29 August 2015

It''s been a funny old week

We have had a week of rain, rain and more rain. When the Sun has dared to make an appearance I haven't been able to get out and about much.
So, with that in mind, I thought I would cast back to last weekend when we wandered along Studland beach watch the planes fly over as part of the Bournemouth Air Festival. Most of the action happened quite a way away across the water, but it was good practise to try and focus the big lens on little specs in the sky.
Tommorrow, I will be taking the Purbeck Footprints Mobile Exhibition Centre and Information Hub (this is my name for the new, extra large, gazeebo that I use to show of my photographs) to Bournemouth for the day and hope that the weather behaves.
The Red Arrows





The Vulcan



Chinook

Mig

Typhoon

We were quite far away from the action. Great place to sit though.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Follow the Fallow

We don't tend to see Fallow Deer on the Isle of Purbeck although there have been a few rogue bucks seen over the last couple of years. With that in mind it is perhaps not surprising that when, whilst driving 'on the mainland' I saw a young Fallow in the distance, I needed to stop the car and have a bit of a wander. Time was against me of course and the dark clouds that loomed in the distance were getting closer and closer.
First contact then was with a youngster but as Fallow tend to herd, I thought that there must be more around somewhere.

I wandered in the general direction of the young Fallow, taking care not to walk directly towards it and always keeping an eye on the surroundings looking for more animals. They were around somewhere, I just had to find them.
Well, as it happened I didn't have long to wait. A large herd of Fallow were relaxing in the long grass completely aware of my presence and ready to leave at any moment.
An easy find then, but a very wary group and it was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to get particularly close. Watching them and listening to the squeaks and blips of the younsters, getting close enough to smell them but not close enough to make them bolt is a great feeling and one that I always try to get.
There was one individual that stood her ground for a while, but I didn't try to get too close.
Finally, just before I had to leave, I spotted a single white doe with two fawns. This just about made the wander for me and, even though it was far too short, it was well worth the effort.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Nighttime Manoeuvres

Last night we went to the cliffs that form the southern edge of the Isle of Purbeck to see what the Perseid meteor shower had in store for us. On the horizon, far to the south, lightning lit up the clouds and thunder played its backing track as we wondered just how much time we had before the stars disappeared. As it happened, the rain took its time and we were treated to a wonderful display of meteors as they streaked across the sky.
No shots of the meteors, but it really was good fun to watch and if that wasn't enough, Glow-worms kept me amused.


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Dragons, Gatekeepers, Marbles and the Pursuit of a Toadlet

The meadows are bubbling over with mini beasts at the moment and there are far worse things to do that sit in the middle of one and wait for the wildlife. You don't have to wait long of course and, on a beautiful blue sky day, probably the first thing you will notice are the butterflies. Gatekeepers complete with the Marbled Whites in the race to be the most popular but there is also a vast number of Grasshoppers.
I can and do spend far too much time in the meadows at this time of year and never get bored of photographing or just watching the inhabitants.
There are plenty of places where you will see more Dragons but they fly through every now and again.



Grasshoppers and Crickets are a favourite, trying to get that 'different' shot can keep me amused for hours.
The Toadlet! Difficult to follow, it was barely half an inch long from nose to knee, but great fun to photograph.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Purbeck Footprints Wildlife Photography Walk

On Sunday I took a cracking group of people around Durlston Country Park taking in the wonderful scenery and enjoying what nature had in store for us. After a brief introduction we worked our way around the north side of the castle which gives us one of my favourite views, across Durlston and Swanage bays to Old Harry and on to Bournemouth in the distance.

Just as we wandered down towards the cliffs the Coastguard helicopter was seen flying towards one of the busy dive boats. This generally means an excersise or, as in this case, the airlift of a diver from the boat to the helicopter and then off to the decompression chamber at nearby Poole. Apart from wondering at the great skill of the coastguard team, it is good to give a moments thought to the unfortunate diver and wish him well. He is in safe hands.




I had walked the cliffs earleir that morning and, within the space of half an hour, had seen a female Kestrel with two youngsters, a female Peregrine with two youngsters and a Sparrowhawk being chesed by a very persistant youngster. Not bad for a quick mornings walk.
We saw the Kestrels and Sparrowhawks on our walk later but the Peregrines were not to be seen.

After moving inland, butterflies and crickets were on the menu and they are always great fun to photograph.
More walks are planned for the Autumn and i am hoping to do much more at Durlston next year. Keep an eye open for more details.

The Finale

As an almost full Moon rose in the east, quietly and without the pomp and ceremony of a Sunrise, the sky darkened and the whole town seemed to wait for the fireworks that signal the end of another successful Swanage Carnival.




Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Friend of a Friend

A few years ago I spent a little bit of time with a young Badger who was, to be honest, far more interested in his new surroundings than he was in me. It was on a July evening, just before the Sun set, and I visit the same place regularly just in case I get lucky again. I have seen Badgers here since, usually after dark when a photograph is impossible (I don't like using a flash) but whenever I catch a glimpse of a fuzzy black and grey backside disappearing into a hedge I do wonder what happened to this little chap and whether I have seen him again.