Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Kingston to Houns-Tout

As Spring evening walks go it takes a lot to beat the walk to Houns-Tout.is just about perfect. You start in the woods, surrounded by the songs of countless birds and the smell of a mass of wild Garlic. There are sounds in the undergrowth too: there are deer here  (their tracks are everywhere), Foxes too I expect, or perhaps a Badger!

The smell of the Garlic gets less subtle, almost heady, as I reached the open grassland and everything changes. Beautiful golden light and clean fresh air replaces the gloom of the trees and the trek along the ridge gives some of the finest views you will see anywhere. A pair of Buzzards circle high above calling in the way that only Buzzards can.

Houns-Tout itself is incredible and needs to be experienced. Standing on the outcrops high above the rocks listening to the waves break on the beaches of Chapman's Pool and Freshwater is a fine way to watch the Sun go down.
The walk back along the ridge is no less worthwhile and, last night, both Sika and Roe Deer joined me as well as a Hare or two, the ever-present Rabbits, a Fox and a distant Badger. It was almost dark when I reached the woods and the smell of Wild Garlic replaced the clean, salty air that I had become used to..
I enjoy walking through the woods at night, but it is a massively different place than it was earlier. The air was cool, no longer warmed by a dying Sun, and the excited songs of countless small birds had been replaced by their larger, darker relatives. During the day I would take time to investigate the sounds in the undergrowth too, probably a deer or Fox or Badger, but at night a voice deep inside my mind tells stories of more ancient times. These times of Wolves and Wild Boar have long since disappeared and the undergrowth holds no dangers for me now, but I will leave the deer or Fox or Badger and let it wander unseen as, all of a sudden, I seem unable to silence that little voice. There is an edginess to night-darkened woods that adds to the fun of an evening walk and is one of the reasons why I enjoy them so much.




 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Fresh Rabbit & The Golden Child

Last night, as the last rays of beautiful evening Sun slipped behind the hills, the young Foxes came out to play. While they played, dinner was being caught and soon mum would return with a big, freshly killed Rabbit.
 The perfect light soon disappeared making photography impossible but it was very difficult leave.



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sun, Dogs and Easy Walks

Swanage Bay and Durlston Bay are separated by Peveril Point, upon which stands the Coastwatch lookout station. The view from here is always wonderful whether the Sun is out or not!
Peveril Point

The Pinnacles

Ballard Head

Bird Identification The Easy Way

Not being an expert on British birds, it is sometimes difficult to identify the more obscure visitors that we get at this time of year. I much prefer the 'properly labelled' birds that we have here, it always makes it easier when I am asked questions such as: "what is that black bird?", "what is the bird with the white throat or black cap?"...
Blackbird
Whitethroat
Blackcap
I like a nice easy life...



Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Long Way Round

 Our April wander, in two weeks time, will take us to Chapman's Pool and I wanted to go a slightly different way than normal. This meant a bit of a recky: checking the paths and trails to see just what is passable and what is not. Making sure that although the going may get rough, those that join me are not at risk of damaging themselves or getting stuck.
 The route that I took is not a 'formal' path but takes in old rat-runs used by fishermen and those few that keep wandering away from the crowds and the coast path.
It wasn't an easy walk but the best ones seldom are, what it did prove however is that this is not one that I can take a group on. The path itself, where there was a path, has suffered a great deal because of erosion. This meant that the foreshore became the path. This whole area is littered with rocks that have fallen from Emmett's Hill some 300 feet above you and is a challenge to navigate.
Following the old path from Chapman's Pool back towards Worth has suffered too, slipping down the hill  in several places.
The view from the path above the Pool is always superb though and worth the effort it takes visit.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Foxes, Owls and a Badger-shaped Rock.

I went out for a wander last night, just before the Sun went down, to make the most of the lighter evenings. It was too dark for photographs but the Foxes were out and about, a Tawny Owl decided that my Tawny Owl impression needed work and a Badger that I got very close too as it sat in the bottom of a hedge suddenly became a rock!
All in all, it was a good evening!

Anvil Point Lighthouse

The Road to Muckle Flugga

Finally, after a couple of aborted attempts we managed to travel to the northern most part of the UK, some 710 miles north of my home on the...