Showing posts from 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.

Swanage Carnival - Aerostars

A few from the aerobatic display team 'Aerostars' yesterday.
Swanage Bay is the perfect place for these events, they always fit in very well here.
This is part of the famous Swanage Carnival week.

It's A Small, Small World

I think 'changeable' is the best word to describe our weather at the moment. Low cloud and a healthy sea mist can keep us shrouded from the Sun one minute and, as if by magic clouds part, the temperature rises and it can seem like a whole new day. When the skies are that horrible white colour and everything seems gloomy there is one section of our wildlife that still be relied upon to show off a bit of colour.
So, bring on the Dragons, Damsels, Crickets and Grasshoppers!

From Fox to Fox

It was obvious that the Sun was not going to be able last for the whole evening. Clouds,some ominously dark, were grouping not too far away and although we still had an hour or so before sunset they would win the race and make the evening prematurely dark.
Another race, arguably far more important, was taking place in a field not too far away from a wood that contained a den, home to two feisty Fox cubs!
These two cubs were intent on finishing the game before taking any interest in me, which I was incredibly pleased about.

Finally, and far too soon in my opinion, the game was over and peace returned to the field. It seemed that all of a sudden I was a little bit more important and needed to be investigated. Both cubs came closer to check me out and stayed reasonably close until the clouds covered the Sun and the tempurature started to drop.
Suddenly a Sika broke thorugh the undergrowth obviously surprising herself as much as me, they ran into the woods disappearing into the gloom.


Look for the hole, not the Puffin

The cliffs that stretch between Flamborough Head and Bempton are famous for their huge number of seabirds and, making up a small but important part of these is the enigmatic little Puffin. This is another photogenic seabird, another favourite of mine and, judging by the enquiries of people that we met along the cliffs, a favourite of a lot of others too.
The Puffin is smaller than all of the other residents of this cliff wall and unlike the rest, it rears its chicks away from aerial preditors in a hole or convenient crevice. Looking for them amongst the larger but similarly coloured Razorbills and Guillemots can be like looking for a needle in a pile of other needles. We quickly found that it was easier to look for holes in the cliff rather than the bird itself, there was a good chance that inside it would be a smart, portly little bird with bright orange feet and very curious beak.

Trying to get the iconic 'beak full of Sand Eels' is not easy! A close up would have been nice …

The Long Road to Bempton

A six hour drive to meet brother, followed by another couple of hours to get to the camp site, close to Bempton and its cliffs, that would be our home for the next couple of days. The next morning we were up at four o'clock and walked the short distance across the fields to the cliffs that run from Flamborough Head to Bempton on theYorkshire coast.
For anyone interested in wildlife, getting up and about before the sunrise is always a special time and this occasion didn't disappoint. As the Sun broke through a distant band of cloud its warmth was instantly apparent and the light (perfect for photographers) just gets better and better. It is not for nothing that we call this The Golden Hour.
 The first thing that struck us when we approached the near vertical cliffs was the silence! Considering this place is home to some 250,000 seabirds there was little or no sign of them until that is you reach the cliff edge and then the sound explodes. Even at a time when the sun had barely …