Sunday, 30 January 2011

Blue Skies & Brown Eyes

Blue Skies & Brown Eyes, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

It seems like quite a while since we had a full day of sunshine. So, after a walk along the cliffs in the morning (and a pasty for lunch) I headed for the Purbeck's northern boundary and the shores of Poole Harbour. The waders were keeping there distance, as were a couple of Reed Buntings and a solitary Dartford Warbler but this little Dunnock was very happy to pose.


Herdsman, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

This is only the second Bull Finch I have seen in the Purbeck and I haven't seen many anywhere else either. I spent quite a while trying to get this one out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Look Right

Look Right, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I'm not sure what got the attention of these Sparrows, but it must have been interesting. One minute there was a birdy riot going on in the bush, the next, all was quiet!

The Death Of The Sodium Street Light

Gradually, our old,mellow yellow, sodium street lamps are being replaced by brand new, shiny white lights. This is probably a good thing, I suppose, but it is changing the way the town looks after the Sun goes down.
The street lights along the sea front cast quite a nice warm glow and this will be lost very soon.
This picture was taken with a 5 second shutter speed on a rather gloomy evening, no stars, no moon, just a warm yellow glow.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sika Seeker

Sika Seeker, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Sika are just wonderful animals. They have the most expressive faces and are incredibly curious. Although these Sika wont let you get too close, they are a lot more used to people than my local Roe deer and so will tolerate a little more intrusion. This, I think, is one of last years young.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Blackstone, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I have always liked taking photographs directly into the Sun, especially when I'm near the sea. It is a good time to play with silly shutter speeds.
The smooth black rocks on the shore in Kimmeridge Bay look pretty special when still wet from the receding tide and reminds me of polished Jet.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Seaweed and Boulder Skates

Seaweed and Boulder Skates, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

In the search for a few nice bits of Kimmeridge Shale there is really only one place to go and that, not surprisingly is Kimmeridge Bay! Walking along the bay calls for a steady feet, as seaweed tries hard to make you fall over and beautiful black rocks slip nicely when you put your feet on them.
Apart from the Pied Wagtails and a so far unidentified Warbler, there were a number of little Rock Pipits. I can watch these happy chaps for hours.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Mob

The Mob, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Plenty of Jackdaws causing trouble this morning, looking very sleek maybe just a little sinister. It may be the slicked back haircut and black suit, but they always remind me of gangsters.

Cliff Watch

Cliff Watch, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Even though there was rain in the air and the Sun refused to break through the clouds, the cliffs were a fine place to be. Among the Herring, Black-Backed and Black Headed Gulls were several Gannets and a few Fulmars. With Shags, Guillemots and Razorbills bobbing up and down on the water and a lone Peregrine on the lookout for breakfast, it was a good morning for a wander.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Air Time

Air Time, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I felt quite sorry for this Fallow Deer, she was obviously upset and very agitated. She was on her own and, after a few circuits of open ground, she ran across the road and disappeared into the trees.

Master Of Disguise

Master Of Disguise, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Before she legged it, the Fallow Deer tried a little hide & seek. I certainly wasn't unkind enough to suggest that she had a little to learn.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Lots Of Spots

Lots Of Spots, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

There always seems to be plenty of Thrushes about, but today there were dozens. Another bird that wouldn't stay still until all of a sudden, one of them just froze for a few seconds before flying off.

A Sideways Glance

A Sideways Glance, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

In amongst the dozens of Thrushes there was just one Redwing. The light was pretty good, which was handy because the little chap just wouldn't stay still.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Glory To Who?

Glory To Who?, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

This is St. James church in Kingston on the Isle of Purbeck, one of our most elaborate buildings. Built 140 years ago by the local land owner, perhaps more as a statement of his own wealth and importance than anything else, it is nonetheless very impressive. This is one of those buildings that is hard to do justice to, but I like this view through the trees.

Night Vision

Night Vision, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I have been meaning to have a play at night shots for a while now. So tonight, with clear skies and an almost full moon, I went for a wander. This is the chalk pinnacles of Old Harry in the distance, taken with a 90 second exposure.
If anyone has any hints or tips, I would appreciate it. I don't want to digitally alter any photo, so everything I do must be using the settings on the camera.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunshine On A Sunday

Sunshine On A Sunday, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Ah memories. This was just a week ago when the Sun was shining and the clouds were struggling to stay in sight, not the other way around.
The feather detail on a Blackbird really shows up well if you can catch it in the Sun.

Landslips and Mudlarks

Landslips and Mudlarks, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

With the clouds getting darker and the skies showing no sign of our promised sunny spells, we wandered along the beach to the north of the bay where the land is slowly slipping into the sea. Not much in the way of wildlife, which was good because the light was terrible, but we were joined by a very friendly Rock Pipit.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Sunlighthouse, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I love this place. This is the Anvil Point Lighthouse, the big yellow disc in the sky is the Sun.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Joys Of Youth

The Joys Of Youth, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Eating too much and hanging around on sea wall is a great way to spend the day. I think this young Herring Gull may have got a chip stuck in his throat though, he was struggling a bit.


iLapwing, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

After spotting a Lapwing in camo gear walking across the heath in what could be described as a 'reasonable light', what else could I do. A quick drive-by shooting only though, as soon as I opened the car door it flew off.

The Worm Whisperer

The Worm Whisperer, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

A large flock of Redwings, Fieldfares and Starlings made its way across the heath steadily reducing its worm population. This particular Fieldfare had four of them in the five minutes that I watched it.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday Bunting

Sunday Bunting, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

With the Sun still shining I couldn't stay in and had a walk along the shore of Poole Harbour. I don't spend enough time here and I'm not too good at recognising water birds, so I need more practise. This, I think, is a female Reed Bunting, but if anyone knows better just shout.


Flypast, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Finally, a beautiful blue sky day. A wander along the cliffs gave us great views of the Gannets fishing in the bay again. There were plenty of other sea birds on the water too, with Guillemots and Razorbills almost outnumbering the Herring Gulls. The local crows were doing a grand job of bugging the Buzzards but they were given a taste of there own medicine when a Peregrine had a go back.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Blues

The Blues, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Away from the drama of the cliffs all was quiet. Plenty of small birds around though and, as usual, the Blue Tits seemed to be the busiest.

Angry Waves

Angry Waves, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The first thing that struck us as we made our way to the cliffs this morning was the noise of some of the largest waves I have seen here. Durlston Head was being battered by huge swells and the bay itself was a white mass of broken water. Flying low across the bay were dozens of Gannets looking far too white against the slate grey of the sky. Around the head, the Southern cliffs were taking the full force of the water but a solitary Peregrine, just a dot against the rocks, sat, watched and waited.

Fish Supper

Fish Supper, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Following a tip off I headed to the bay to catch a glimpse of a seal finishing off a very large Sea Bass. I don't see seals around here very often so I was quite chuffed. Once again though the weather was against me and I had to go when the rain got too heavy. Even though I did my best 'wounded fish' noise he wouldn't come any closer and so this is the best I could get. A bit of a tight crop.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Minding My Own Business

Minding My Own Business, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

So there I was, car parked and walking slowly across the road to the hedge where a strangely unconcerned Buzzard was sitting. Although the light had gone I advanced with my camera to my eye, changing the settings as I went, oblivious to everything else around me (I have seen proper wildlife photographers do this on television) and got within about 8 feet..
Then all of a sudden, a second Buzzard came out of no where and dive bombed the first. All thought of being a proper photographer evaporated as I almost dropped the camera!
Not the greatest of shots, but the best I could do at the time.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Again the weather was against me and so again I had to go looking for easier targets. There were far too many people around today and, like the Sika, I left the popular tracks and headed to the more secluded areas.There were six or seven young females here and it was very easy to relax and enjoy the company.

Sunday Lunch

Sunday Lunch, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Even the Squirrels were running and hiding today. It really is great to see so many people out and about and enjoying themselves though and as long as there are still quiet little places that get overlooked, I'll be happy enough.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Gloom And Ruins

Gloom And Ruins, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

As the new year dawned it was obvious that the weather was not going to be kind again. Trying to take shots of moving animals or birds when the light is this bad is no fun at all and so I relied on a more sedentary target. Corfe Catle hasn't moved much in about 1000 years (apart from the bits that have fallen off). Tomorrow there is the promise of some much needed Sun and so I will try again then.

Quiet but never silent.

I missed the Sun this morning, not because I was late but because the early wander was done and dusted by the time the clouds cleared. When...