Kestrels are not the only raptors doing well this year, the local Peregrines seem to have had a good year too.
This one was making plenty of noise as it flew from perch to perch along the cliffs.
I lost sight of her for a while and so I decided to sit on a rock on the edge of the cliff and wait.
She was sat on her own rock about twenty feet away and I had no idea she was there until she screeched and took off!
She looked a little annoyed that I had invaded her personal space.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
After spending yesterday morning trying to take pictures in the fog, the skies cleared and the evening was just beautiful.
Time then for another walk to the cliffs to see the young Kestrels. It is easy to spend way to much time with this family and it didn't seem long before the cliffs were in shadow and it was time to leave.
It is amazing what a little Sun can do!
Sunday, 26 June 2011
All of a sudden there were five Kestrels in an area the size of a dinning table. Mum and dad were both there as lunch was brought in. All three youngsters screamed and, after a whirlwind of little brown feathers, one of them tried to run of with what looked like a mouse.
The other two, looking more than a little fed up, followed hoping for a chance to steal lunch.
On a morning that should have been bathed in sunshine we had fog! Visiblilty was so bad that at times you could barely make out the sea beneath the cliffs.
Not the best of days to bump into the Kestrel triplets then, but they more than made up for the bad weather.
It was a real treat to watch them for a couple hours, until mum and dad brought lunch back and all hell broke out!
Saturday, 25 June 2011
The hills that form the southern ridge of the Isle of Purbeck have been quarried for centuries. Parts have been ploughed for farming, but large areas have been left to look after themselves. The Townsend Reserve is one of these, with dozens of quarries linked with ancient paths and left for the wildlife and the ghosts.
Most of the old stone is covered by vegetation now making this place just about right for Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchids.
It was still very windy and the low cloud was struggling to move on but I was starting to get stir crazy. A short walk to the nearest nature reserve for a bug hunt proved to be a terrible idea but the dogs enjoyed it.
Just one butterfly, a Gatekeeper perhaps, or a Meadow Brown, that disappeared when a gust of wind helped it along.
Still, if you believe the weather forecast a heatwave is about to hit us!
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
A Greater Black-backed Gull patrolled the cliffs looking for an easy meal and settled for what looks like a Garfish.
It put up quite a struggle and had a go back, at one point its jaws were clamped tightly aroung the Gull's neck.
These shots were taken from the cliff top.
It was nice to see blue skies again tonight and so we headed to the cliffs for a little target practice.
Lots going on as usual, with dozens of Guillemots flying to and from the ledges. Shags, Herring and Black-backed Gulls, Fulmars, Terns and Gannets all made an appearance as well as a Perregrine and Kestrel.
Another tip-off, this time to find more than just a Hare or two. On Sunday evening, just as the Sun started to set, I was taken to very quiet part of the Purbeck, a place that was teaming with these beautiful animals. At least thirty sightings we think, ranging from a distant glimpse to a surprise encounter just a few meters away.
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Although we have finally moved into the new place, we seem to be spending more time eating out rather that in!
We have never had much of a garden in the past and so having a couple of Sparrow families in the hedge outside the front door is a bit new and exciting! Until 5 o'clock in the morning that is, when they wake up!
Still no internet at home and so this was posted whilst having lunch at my local. The Red Lion is not a bad place to have an office.
Normally, the local Guillemots stay quite a distance form the cliff top either bobbing up or down on thte waves or on ledges near the waters edge.
It was good to see this one high up and close enough to get a reasonable shot.
There was a Razorbill on the ledge just above this one.
Durlston Country Park are rightly proud of thier sea birds and the cliff top on the southern coast of the Isle of Purbeck is a fine place to watch them.
It makes a nice change to see the Razorbills so close, they have superb markings that really stand out when the Sun shines. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of Sun for this one.
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
We have had Sika for just over a year now and although the house move is confusing her a little, she is doing very well.
Walks tend to be a little more unpredictable than when it was just me and Benny but she has found her place in the family and she seems happy.
I haven't been able to wander much over the last week and the camera has barely been touched. We are in the middle of moving house and so all I seem to be doing is running between our little old house to our new one with box after box of stuff that I'm not sure we need.
Although there is little time to take photographs, we still have to walk the dogs. This means a chance to dust of the camera and, as long as I don't disappear for too long, I can have a play.
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Last night I went to see if the Roe deer was ready to show junior to the world and this was the result.
Mother and baby are doing well, in fact the youngster was making plenty of noise and seemed to be enjoying his new surroundings.
Monday, 6 June 2011
Finally, with the Sika safely aboard, the crew get back into the boat and it cleared the cliffs. A blanket is put over the deer's head to calm it and they make the trip around the headland to the bay. Last news was that the deer had been released safely and was doing well.
It took a while for the lifeboat to get close to the deer. There are ledges all along the cliffs and it would have been easy for the little chap to break a leg. At one point there were three people in the water and one very scared Sika.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
Plenty of Pilot Gigs turned up for the Swanage Sea Rowing Club's regatta yesterday and this means the beach is awash with colour as well as seaweed.
Each traditionally built gig has a team of six rowers with a cox and, once the complicated issue of launching into the wind is completed, the boats look superb.
The Swanage boats are in the bay most weekends and the rowers are always eager to show you the right end of an oar if you fancy a go.
More details can be found on there website:
Yesterday, a regatta was held by The Swanage Sea Rowing Club and it was a chance to see several of these superb traditionally built boats being raced across the bay. This is Lady Freda, the gig from the Barnstable.Pilot Gig Club.
Rowing one of these under the pressure of a race is a unique experience and well worth a go.
More details can be found on the S.S.R.C. website :
Saturday, 4 June 2011
The meadows are full of flowers at this time of year and they are always good to see. I couldn't resist checking up on the new mum either, she was quite happy to pose for a few minutes and looked very healthy. I think the Roe deer look better in the evening sunlight than any other time of day.
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
I watched this Yellowhammer as it jumped in and out of the traffic picking up insects from the road and taking them back into the hedge.
Missing the cars by just inches, it was pretty good at it too.
Risky business this parent thing!
Not a bad lunch break today, with a Swan and six kiddies having a splash in the lake.
The little ones were also doing a passable impression of Penguins, swimming under water for as long as they could until they popped up like a cork.
The atmosphere up on the cliffs this morning was completely different from yesterday with more sound, more light and more birdsong. The ...
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This week has seen another Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival: a collection of walks that take people all over the Isle of Purbeck and wit...
I know Red Squirrel Week seems like just an excuse for me to post photos of these wonderful little creatures but it is a real thing, I ...