Saturday 30 April 2011

Quick Cricket

Quick Cricket, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

A very young Bush Cricket, I think, sat quite happily in a Buttercup flower. Another tiny one, about 5mm again, but great to see.

Almost A Grasshopper Warbler

This was taken while I waited for a Grasshopper Warber to pose for a photograph. There are plenty of young grasshoppers and crickets around at the moment and they can keep me occupied for hours.

Pale Face

Pale Face, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

A good breeze and a Sun that kept playing hide and seek, made this afternoons bug hunt a little difficult. Plenty about though, including a Common Lizard that tried to crawl up my shorts while I was sat on the grass.
That probably accounts for the scared look on his face.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Caution. Lapwing Children Crossing

First of all, I must apologise to drivers on the A354 between Salisbury and Blandford for any inconvenience caused by my actions today.
This is one of two Lapwing chicks that were trying to cross the busy road this afternoon and not doing a very good job about it. Mum and Dad were calling but the chicks decided to sit in the middle of the road and were obviously very scared. I actually drove right over one of them (between my wheels) and had to turn around before there luck ran out. I picked them both up and put them in the field where there parents were. Just managed a couple of shots, from a distance, before they toddled off.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

More Close Encounters

More Close Encounters, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I couldn't resist posting another shot from last night.
It is always good to see a healthy Fox in its own environment, knowing that she has cubs gives me another excuse to keep visiting.

Honest Mistake

Honest Mistake, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Not the finest shot, but this is the female Fox 'transporting her cubs', or so I thought.
It seems ridiculous when I look at this, but I really did think the sausage rolls were cubs.
Anyway, it was getting dark.....

Monday 25 April 2011

New Mum

New Mum, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I first saw this new mum with something in her mouth and obviously a fair amount on her mind. My first thought was that she was moving her cubs and after watching her for a while she dropped what she was carrying and turned to face me. I crouched, squeaked and waited. She then walked to within two meters of me before casually wandering off. I didn't check what she was carrying, (if it was a cub I didn't want to get too close) but waited, heart in my mouth, for her to return.
And return she did, with another mouthful of what turned out to be sausage rolls, perhaps the leftovers from a picnic.
This picture isn't cropped, in fact I had to zoom out to get her in shot.

As Good As It Gets

As Good As It Gets, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Kestrel, Buzzard and Peregrine fly-pasts today, all showing well and giving a good photographer a chance on some stunning shots.
Unfortunately there were no good photographers there, only me and I messed up every shot until the Peregrine got bored and started to fly off!
Another close crop, this one.

Guillemot Egg

Guillemot Egg, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

It is just about possible to take a shot of the Guillemot Ledge but it takes a little practise. You have to wedge your foot in between the stones of the wall and lean over the cliff! You still need to crop the shot a fair bit but you can see a nice pale blue Guillemot egg on this one.

Sunday 24 April 2011

News From The Cliff Top

News From The Cliff Top, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

For the third day in a row Dolphins have been seen and for the last two days, boats and jet skis have been bothering them. One of our more pleasant boat owners went to ask these idiots people to back off and give the Dolphins some room only to be met with a string of verbal abuse!
I can't tell you how I feel about this on a family forum.
Today hopefully, the Coastguard and Lifeboat will be able to give advice about keeping a safe distance and I wouldn't argue with those guys!
Anyway, the best place to see the Dolphins is from the cliff which is where this Kestrel was. A fine place to be.

Dolphin Harassment

The Dolphins in the bay are being harassed by boat and jet ski owners. This link leads to the Marine Code of Conduct regarding Dolphins. All water craft owners should know this.

Friday 22 April 2011

Good Friday Lunch

Good Friday Lunch, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

It was a little too breezy for a proper bug hunt this morning, nothing seemed to settle for long enough. Unfortunately for this Crane Fly though, it settled for a little too long making its Friday a lot worse than mine.

Early Morning Spiders

Early Morning Spiders, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The third Orchid of the season and one of the prettiest. The Early Spider Orchid doesn't really look like a spider but they are funny little plants. It can take ages to find and then once you do you see them everywhere.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

The Lookout

The Lookout, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

There was a pair of Kestrels on the cliffs tonight, screaming at the Jackdaws, but only the male decided to pose.
I will never get tired of shots like this with the sea as a background.

More Head Shots

More Head Shots, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Another stunning walk along the cliffs tonight, with the mist slowly replacing the Sun on the sea. I watched this Kestrel for quite a while, trying to take flight shots as it swooped along the cliff edge. No luck with that, but it did settle for a while and I got quite a good view of the top of his head.
The light was all over the place, but I quite like this one.

Monday 18 April 2011

Two For Joy

Two For Joy, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Trying to take a break from the kids and relax is never easy when dinner walks past! Unfortunately this young mum had been in the wars, her right eye was almost closed and she had scars on her muzzle. Apart from that she looked like a beautiful, healthy Fox.

View On Black and large

Evening Out

Evening Out, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Now the evenings are lighter there is just enough time to get out and spend time with the locals. Foxes are a real favourite and are always good to photograph.

Sunday 17 April 2011


Shhhhhhhhhh, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The light was going and the birds had started to settle so it seemed the right time to just sit and watch. This young Roe did the same, but I managed to keep my eyes open for longer.

Good For What Ails Ya

Good For What Ails Ya, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

A very versatile little plant, the Cowslip! Not only will it help with coughs, tremors and headaches, you can use it to make wine! Apart from all that, it looks very nice when meadow upon meadow is carpeted in yellow!

Top Of The World

Top Of The World, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The air was full of bird song today and fighting for the number 1 slot was the Whitethroat!

Saturday 16 April 2011

Early Mornings, Early Purples

Last week we found a single Green Winged Orchid, today there were Early Purple Orchids everywhere. These lovely little flowers really stand out in amongst the yellow of the Cowslips.


Scruffy, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The highlight of the morning was that I managed to sit and spend time with this little lad and his mum. One of last years Roe looking very scruffy in his, slowly disappearing, winter coat but happy enough to have a chat.

Friday 15 April 2011

New, Without Tags!

New, Without Tags!, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

At this time of year Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers suddenly appear and I always enjoy trying to get close enough for a shot. The only problem is that I struggle to tell the difference! I always thought, 'pale legs' = Willow Warbler, 'dark legs = Chiffchaff! But as Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humour, there are apparently exceptions to that rule. Regardless of what this is, it is a lovely little bird.

Monday 11 April 2011

Spring Coats

Spring Coats, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Via Flickr:
At this time of year the local Roe deer start to lose their thick winter coats, the velvet falls off their antlers and they take on an altogether smarter appearance.
It won't be long before we see the little ones that we really need to maintain the small population.
In the last two days, I have seen three of these wonderful animals at the side of our roads after being hit by cars.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Green Wings Or Green Leaves

Via Flickr:
Little flowers are popping up all over the place at the moment and although I'm far from being an expert, I quite like taking pictures of them because they don't run or fly away!
This little one was tiny and I think it is a Green-winged Orchid, but as usual any positive I.D. would be great.

Dance Of The Whitethroat

Dance Of The Whitethroat, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Via Flickr:
Another beautiful, blue sky day and another day spent wandering the hills and cliffs. It is far too easy to lose track of time and I must have spent a good 45 minutes walking backwards and forwards along the cliffs trying to get a shot of the Whitethroats. The Sun was always in the wrong place and they were very quick, but they are lovely little birds to follow.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Gulls & Bouys

Gulls & Bouys, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Via Flickr:
Following a particularly disastrous morning walk that made me wonder why I carried a camera, we made our way through town to Peveril Point. It is one of my favourite places and tends to be reasonably quiet.
Far out to sea the Sandwich Terns were fishing, leaving the Rock Pipits to keep us company while I did some much needed target practise on the Herring Gulls.

Mister & Misses

Mister & Misses, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Via Flickr:
There were more misses than shots this morning which is always disappointing on such a glorious day. The Chiffchaffs and Willow Warbers just wouldn't play, the Kestrels and Buzzards stayed way too high and the Peregrine didn't even bother to show up.
A lovely wander though and one I had looked forward to all week.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Metal Head

Metal Head, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

It must be quite easy to keep yourself looking clean when you live in water, but this chap was just about immaculate. He spent quite a while preening and washing, all to impress Mrs Mallard!

The Look

The Look, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

I am used to this look! It is a look I have seen many times before and will probably see many times in the future. Women have a special way of making a chap feel ever so slightly uncomfortable!

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Second Prize

Second Prize, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

The Sun shone all day yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to get out until the evening. It was the first proper evening walk this year and although there was a chilly wind it was nice to get out. I spent a little time taking shots of the Herring Gulls as they were almost stationary above the cliffs until a Peregrine lazily took the same route westward. No shots of her though, which was annoying to say the least.

Sunday 3 April 2011

Spider Man

Spider Man, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Another day not really suited to macro shots, but I couldn't resist this little chap. I have no idea what kind of spider it is, so an I.D. would be appreciated, but it reminds me of Rolf Harris!

For those who don't know who Rolf Harris is ...

Rare Breeds And Bus Trips

Rare Breeds And Bus Trips, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Every now and again we get visited by rare and well-travelled visitors. These tend to arrive in cars and buses and spend a little time looking through lenses and telescopes at unusual birds.
This weekends unusual bird was a Red-flanked Bluetail and has kept a great number of people entertained.
It was a little dull today, but I will try for a better shot when the Sun comes out.

Saturday 2 April 2011

The Bees & The Birds

The Bees & The Birds, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

Not the best of days to lay in the grass and take a shot of a bee, but I was desperate to use the macro. It is amazing how quickly all the bugs disappear when I change lenses.

The Birds & The Bees

The Birds & The Bees, originally uploaded by julian sawyer.

One of the smallest birds you are liable to see here, but also one of the noisiest. This little Wren sat in the hedge and belted out his song completely ignoring us.

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...