Fireworks mark the start of the Swanage Carnival, a week of smiles, music, fun and beer! Not necessarily in that order!
Saturday, 30 July 2011
A rather gloomy start to the day and plenty of water still around from the rain last night. All the spider's webs were shining but there were few spiders to be seen, good news for this tint snail perhaps! Although I am not sure whether a spider would have a go at a snail! Answers on a postcard please....
Thursday, 28 July 2011
It took quite a while to get this chap to look straght at me. Even after doing my best 'vulnerable Herring' impression, the closest I could get was a sideways glance. Finally he relented and looked down his nose at me.
I am a big fan of Herring Gulls and can spend hours taking pictures.
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
After having very little luck with the Goldfinches and Rock Pippits I decided to stick to the macro shots.
Plenty of butterflies around, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeeprs and what may have been a Silver Studded Blue. I was trying to come up with something a little different with the butterfly shots but ended up with nothing special.
Eventually, like the spider, hunger took over and the pub got too close to ignore..
Without the use of SatNav or Google Earth we set of along the coast in search of ancient treasures.
One of my favourite walks,starting at the Anvil Point Lighthouse and taking in the cliffs of a battered and well used coast.
A few miles later, the beacon that is The Square & Compass sits in a tiny village ready to serve a pint and a pasty.
This weekend there was a fossil show too, as if we needed an excuse!
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
The weather has not been kind lately, the wind and rain have made it difficult to get out with the camera.
The dogs need to be walked though and that gives me a fine excuse to brave the elements.
Tonight, for a little while, the Sun came out and the evening was glorious. Following the cliffs into town gives you some great views and this evening we were joined by our three young Kestrels. They seem to have been evicted from the southern cliffs by the Peregrines and are now honing their skills over the bay.
No time for a wander along the pier tonight though, but perhaps just enough time for a quick pint on the way home. (well, the dogs do need a rest)
Saturday, 16 July 2011
For the first time in I don't know how long, I went out with just one lens! I left the big one at home and, armed with my trusty macro, went walking through the woods looking for smaller footprints than usual.
Not a lot of success though, as even in the darkest depths the wind whistled through the trees and did a fine job of upsetting everything.
This mornings walk was wet, windy and definitely not right for photography. It certainly felt strange without the camera in my right hand, but walking in the rain is something that I have always enjoyed.
A couple of hours later the rain stopped, the clouds started to clear and the Sun made an occasional appearance. So on went the slightly soggy boots and along with two slightly soggy dogs, we headed off again.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
I am getting a real buzz out of macro shots at the moment and no bug is safe! Anything small is liable to get a camera in the face whether they like it or not!
This is another Hoverfly and he didn't seem too impressed when I starting snapping away.
Old enough to be curious but young enough to still need his mum, this little chap seemed happy enough as long as I didn't get too close.
More importantly, mum was nearby and was also quite relaxed.
This was my first close encounter with a young Sika this year, but hopefully not my last.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
The Sika deer are quite common around here, but I still enjoy watching them. Some of them are relatively happy with human company, others run off at the first twig snap! Always good to photograph though and you never have far to go if your model runs off!
Sunday, 10 July 2011
A beautiful morning up on the cliffs, plenty of Sun, but with some slightly ominous grey clouds in the distance. The now familiar screech of a young Peregrine told us what to look out for and sure enough, there he was sat on an outcrop.
A blur of grey and and a couple of fly-bys later, all was quiet.
Occaional white feathers floating up from an unseen ledge giving a hint of what had happened.
Not a vey good day for a bug hunt, but I did manage a quick glimpse of a Lizard. Not that common this year perhaps!
Saturday, 9 July 2011
A few years ago I bumped into a chap who insisted on explaining to me the difference between a Six-spot Burnet Moth and the similar Five-spot Burnet Moth!
Now, I am no expert, but even with my limited knowledge of Lepidoptera, I think I have this one sorted!
A very striking little moth though and always good to see.
Apparently, there are about 250 species of hover fly in this country and that means common names are scarce!
This one is Sphaerophoria Scripta, I think, for those that want to know. Not as well labelled as the Six-spot Burnet Moth, and so Hover-fly will do just as well I suppose.
Taking photographs of Grasshoppers can be a lot of fun and more than a little addictive. Find the right meadow and these little chaps make themselves known very quickly.
This is a female Meadow Grasshopper, complete with a new pink paint job! Plenty of plain green ones here today, but I only found one pink one.
As usual, if I have got the wrong I.D. on any of these bugs, feel free to correct me.
Friday, 8 July 2011
I haven't seen the family of Kestrels since the Peregrines arrived on the scene, which is a shame because I enjoyed taking these pictures.
This is one from a week or two ago that shows the aftermath of a feeding frenzy that resulted in two of the youngsters fighting over the rather gruesome remains of dinner.
Following concern about the state of this chaps toe (it looked a little damaged on one of my previous photos), I thought I would post this one. This is another of several hundred that I have taken of the Peregrines over the last week. It is difficult to watch these beautiful birds and not go mad with the camera.
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
One of my favourites, the Jackdaws are almost as numerous as the gulls here and are always in the thick of the action.
Catch them in the Sun and the feather details of this 'all black' bird really start to stand out.
The Black-backed Gulls are one of the top predators on the cliffs, not a lot escapes there eyes and I doubt if much could escape there beak! Seeing these impressive birds up close, either in the air or on land, makes you realise just how big they really are!
Monday, 4 July 2011
Another fine walk along the cliffs tonight, with no less than three Peregrines taking to the skies. Plenty of action from the Gulls too, with eight Black-backs patrolling the cliffs. These may well be more of a danger to the local birds than the Peregrines!
The last photo was of the evening was of the Gannet, that came in closer to the cliffs than usual.
This is the young Peregrine that I have been bugging for the past few days. Although he seems a bit grumpy and pretty well always hungry, he does hang around long enough for me to take his picture. Tonight he was at his vocal best and spent the best part of an hour screaming for his mum.
I have a shot of him eating his dinner, (which is a first for me) but it is a bit of a tight crop and I don't think it does him justice.
Sunday, 3 July 2011
After mum had left, junior started to get a bit restless. He strutted around the cliff top for a while, stretched his wings and looked a little annoyed at being left alone.
All of a sudden, he took to the skies and screamed for attention, scattering the local pigeons in the process.
This was by far the closest I have ever been to a wild Peregrine and to have junior here as well was even more of a bonus.
The Sun was just about in exactly the wrong place though, which made taking a shot difficult. The light bouncing of the sea gives an effect that I normally like but today was really causing problems.
Beautiful birds though and superb to watch.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
It can be a lazy hobby, macro photography! You just sit in a meadow and let the bugs and beast come to you. I have never done enough of this but it is really good fun. This little fly was only about 6mm long and, if you like that sort of thing, I suppose it has a certain charm!!
And I could certainly get used to the sitting down part...
Look, I know this is a Grasshopper (a Green Striped, I think) but 'Anyone For Grasshopper' is a terrible title.
Another one from last night, when I really should have been shooting flowers, but I can't resist these. They are great to hunt and watch and even more fun to try and get a head-on 'Alien' shot.
It was cold on the cliffs this morning! The sort of cold that catches your breath and makes you wonder if you have enough layers on! Even ...
This morning's walk was grey with a wind that whipped up the sea into a churning field of white horses. Skies were grey and what Sun the...
Houns tout is a rocky outcrop high above the sea that sits between Chapman's Pool and the Encombe Bowl. It must be my favourite place an...
Walking along the cliffs in thick fog is different! All the parts that make up a usual wander are changed but not necessarily for the worst...