Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Magic of Houns tout

Of all the walks that crisscross the Isle of Purbeck my favourite is a two mile easy path from Kingston to Houns tout, it is a walk that I never tire of and is my 'go to' walk if I need space and time to myself.
The walk starts in the woods with a path that slowly takes you up towards the cliffs, your company can include Foxe, Roe and Badger along with one of the finest birdsong soundtracks.

One animal that I always look forward to seeing along this path, especially at this time of year is the Hare. They are timid, great at hiding and incredibly fast making any photography fun as well as a bit of a challenge. When the grass is short they are easier to spot but still charge around at a rate of knots.

  As the crops in the fields start to grow it gets more and more difficult to spot the Hare, they like to hunker down and relax between the rows and all of a sudden every movement must be a Hare...surely!

 Eventually, after many false calls, you may just be lucky. Don't try to get too close or they will be spooked and run, just give them space and you can get a shot or two of one of our finest and most charismatic locals.

If you can drag yourself away and make it to the cliff edge you are in for another treat with one of the finest views, east and west, that you can see anywhere.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Guillemot Monday

I had a chance to jump onto a boat for a quick run around to Dancing Ledge early this morning and, although the sun didn't give quite as much light as I wanted, it was great to be back on the water. I have been after shots of our Guillemots as they leap from their ledge for a while but haven't managed to get out there on a sunny day, so a bit of a trial run was in order. A brighter morning would mean higher shutter speeds (which is a must for me) but watching these funny little birds is always a good way to start the day.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Blue Skies, Raptors, Purples & Spiders

The weather has been kind to us giving plenty of chances to wander the cliffs. At this time of year wild flowers are breaking free and among these are the Orchids. Early Purples stand like a beacon in the grass whilst high on the ridge the Spider Orchids appear in greater and greater numbers. Both are great to find and both are interesting to photograph. As well as the gorse-dwelling little birds, Kestrels and Peregrines patrol the cliff edge, making flying look effortless.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A walk for a walk

 I have another guided walk on Sunday and as usual, a few days, before I check out the route to make sure there are no surprises for me. This morning after a few days of cloud we had a beautiful start with wall to wall blue skies.
I did look for problems, honestly I did, but it was all just about perfect!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Spring has sprung

As the evenings are getting lighter and Summer is inching closer the hills, heaths and cliffs of the Isle of Purbeck are a riot of birdsong. On any day the birdcount can be good here but in the Spring this place is just wonderful.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Blue Skies and the Usual Subjects

A wander along the cliff path is always worth while but when the sun comes out and warms a Spring day it is difficult to imagine it getting any better. From the second you reach the cliff top sounds of both waves and seabirds fill the air competing with the smaller scrub dwelling birds who are busy in the gorse on the land above you. Guillemots and Razorbills can be seen on most days rafting on the water while Fulmars and Herring Gulls fly above. Black gangs of Jackdaws bounce along the rocks making sure everyone knows they are there and the occasional Raven croaks a deep authoritative barks as it drifts by. Peregrines and Kestrels make up the usual Raptors but a Sparrowhawk or Buzzard is certainly not uncommon. 
On the ground Roe Deer, Fox and Badger footprints can be seen in the mud but you need to keep your wits about you if you want to see any of these during a normal day. In the grass above a quarry, making full use of the springtime Sun, Adders take time out to bathe and cuddle together. These are beautiful creatures and can be watched here perfectly safely away from the problems that humans bring.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

No Adder Shortage

Low cloud has desended on the Isle of Purbeck for the last couple of days and we have had our views banished to the memory banks until the skies clear. Luckily we had a few locals that stayed close enough to keep us amused. Adders are a real favourite of mine and I can't get enough of them.

The Magic of Houns tout

Of all the walks that crisscross the Isle of Purbeck my favourite is a two mile easy path from Kingston to Houns tout, it is a walk that I n...