Sunday, 12 November 2017

Close but not too close.

Everywhere you look Autumn has well and truly taken hold of the Isle of Purbeck and there is no better example of this than our precious heathland. Life here changes rapidly as winter closes in but there is still plenty of activity within the shadows it just takes a bit more time to find it. Away from the main path, amongst a bed of multicoloured heather and sheltered from the light winds by deep, thick gorse, Sika can be found enjoying the heat of the Sun before the cold night changes their world again. It can feel like trespassing if you get too close, and you would probably be right, but the thought of disturbing these animals should make you keep your distance. Close is always good, but close without being too close is much better.


Monday, 6 November 2017

Still dark at the pool

All was quiet when I reached the path high above Chapman's Pool, the Sun wasn't awake enough reached the water, the Pheasants that joined us for the walk were keeping themselves to themselves and the dawn chorus was made up of distant sheep and cows.
In the bay below a single fishing boat was checking pots and amusing the gulls, a yacht appeared in the distance and made the most of a light breeze but apart from that all really was quiet.
From here you can see for miles, the view stretches past Houns tout, Kimmeridge and Lulworth with the Chesil bank and Portland providing the horizon: the lack of anything happening does nothing to spoil my time here.
There are many fine views on the Isle of Purbeck and this part of our coast provides my favourites.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A Different Day

The atmosphere up on the cliffs this morning was completely different from yesterday with more sound, more light and more birdsong. The Sun seemed slightly redder than usual: there was a haze along the horizon, but whether this was Portuguese smoke or Saharan sand I don't know. Waves had been whipped up and were rolling along the rocks giving an undulating rumble, making some of the finest background music you will find anywhere. Behind me in the Gorse the chatter of birds was as constant as the waves, with Robin and Wren trying to out-shout each other, then suddenly a Firecrest popped up. This tiny little bird, our smallest and about the weight of a 20p coin, makes the Wren look positively chunky and disappeared just as quickly as it arrived.





 









Monday, 16 October 2017

The Calm Before the Storm.

As Ophelia slides up the coast of Ireland blowing in excess of 80mph, life was quieter and a little less turbulent on the cliffs this morning. Waves were rolling and crashing against the rocks but the sea wasn't too rough, clouds were building but they weren't too dark and a few drops of rain fell but it wasn't too wet.
As the usual Jackdaws and gulls made the most of a freshening breeze a slate-grey Peregrine, only slightly darker than the blue-grey sea, patrolled the cliffs looking for breakfast.
There was nothing to sea here, nothing at all!

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Triple


 We have more than our fair share of wetlands around here, from the shores of Poole Harbour to along the river valley and also at Weymouth. This gives us a great chance to see many different species of water bird including the the Great White and Little Egrets and the faithful old Grey Heron. It was more than a little special to see these three in the same place though.







Saturday, 7 October 2017

Snakes, Dragons and the Stonechat.

I called in to the Purbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham today to replace a few prints that have sold and took the chance to wander down the river for a while. The weather was perfect and there was plenty to see with Stonechats supplying a soundtrack just louder than the rustle of reeds in the wind. Butterflies were out in numbers as well as a few Dragonflies, Swans passed on the tide and a couple of Mallards had a serious discussion about one thing or another. Every now and again I'd stop to watch a ripple on the water, the movement of a Reed or listen to a sound that didn't seem to fit. I was careful where I stood, partly because of the mud but also to keep the noise down, but it was a bit of a shock when a beautiful Grass Snake came to life just in front of me.





Friday, 29 September 2017

The Kingshrimper

On the shores of Poole harbour you may well see a Kingfisher or two, that is if you are lucky and paying attention. These birds are quick and you may well only see a flash of neon blue as it skims above the water.
If you are really lucky the Kingfisher may choose a perch not too far away and start fishing for shrimps. Watching them do this is a real treat and catching it on camera is pretty special.





Close but not too close.

Everywhere you look Autumn has well and truly taken hold of the Isle of Purbeck and there is no better example of this than our precious h...