Sunday 26 May 2013

Cliff-top Walks and Purbeck Auks

The cliffs that form the southern edge of the Isle of Purbeck are home to great assortment of seabirds. Among these are the Auks (Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins) and they can be seen, if you're lucky, from the coast path that runs along the cliffs.
At this time of year, great rafts of Guillemots can be seen on the sea below the cliffs, with smaller numbers of Razorbills mingled amongst them. 
Puffins are a little more difficult to spot and it is probably easier if you take one of the bird spotting tour boats but they can be seen just west of Dancing Ledge if you are patient.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Early Spiders and Purples, Bees and Greenwings

You can tell the Orchids are appearing on the Isle of Purbeck because you see groups of people walking very slowly and scanning the ground. The Early Spiders, Early Purples and Greenwinged Orchids can be found and the Bee Orchids won't be long either.
They are wonderful little flowers and well worth looking out for.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Rain, Puddles and Wet Feet

After a beautiful, sunny but lazy day yesterday today's wander was always going to be a wet one.
Still, as I keep waffling on about, walking in the rain is one of life's true pleasures. Unfortunately, it just makes playing with the camera a little difficult.
If I possibly can, I leave the big lens at home (this is a lot more difficult than it sounds) and concentrate on the Isle of Purbeck's smaller residents using a macro lens and flash?
So, find a healthy looking square meter of ground, lie down in the grass and bring on the bugs!

Saturday 18 May 2013

Lazy Days, fluffy clouds and sunbathing Robins

A bit of a lazy Saturday meant a morning in the garden and a short walk to Peveril Point in the afternoon. Swanage was looking just about perfect in the sunshine and there were enough people in the town to keep the businesses happy.
A pint at the Red Lion on the way home was a fine way to round off the day.

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Thursday 16 May 2013

Secret Places

There are many places on the Isle of Purbeck that are off the beaten track and remain quiet when summer comes. There are two separate places here, within a couple of miles of each other, that offer just that.
In a few weeks, the surface of the lake will be covered in pale pink lilies and the air will be alive with dragonflies. If you are lucky you may also see the snakes and lizards that like it here.

Sunday 12 May 2013

Mr & Mrs

We are getting close to the time when our Roe Deer population will hopefully increase a little. Unlike the Sika, that have to be culled to control the numbers, there is only a small number of the beautiful creatures roaming the Isle of Purbeck and they need to be protected.
It is understandable that we all want to get as close as possible to the fawns, they are very cute, but it is important to give them as much space as they need. The mother will leave the youngster for hours on end sometimes and, if you stumble upon one, they must be left alone (I don't even hang around to take a photograph). Any trace of human contact on the fawn may result in it being abandoned and we cannot afford that!
Watching from a distance, if you are lucky enough to see one, is by far the best way. 
In my opinion it is also best to keep away from 'fawn spotting' tours, it only takes a couple of months for the youngsters to get a little bigger and a little braver and it is well worth the wait.

Saturday 11 May 2013

Shorter Walks for Busier Days

One of the things I love about living here (and there are loads of things I love) is how little time it takes to walk away from the town and fine space, peace and quiet.
This walk is just a few minutes from my home and does a great job of blowing the cobwebs from my mind.
Taking in wonderful views of Swanage and Durlston Bays, Peveril Point, Ballard Head to Old Harry and on a clear day, all the way to the Isle of Wight.
A good place to just sit and think!

Thursday 9 May 2013

Top, Middle or Bottom

Time spent at St.Aldhelm's Head is never wasted. Whether you spend it at the top of the cliffs with the Coastwatch, on the ledges of age old quarries or far below on the rocky shore you are in for a treat.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Sea Mist With Occasional Sunny Smiles

From early yesterday morning it was obvious that mist was going to play quite an important part in the days wandering. The cliff path was clear though and, with the mist being blown in from the sea, the view across Durlston Bay towards Old Harry was ever changing. It is amazing how fog and mist can change the way even the most familiar places look.
As usual, I spent far to much time watching the Fulmars from the cliff path but still couldn't take a decent photograph and was finally distracted by a lizard that sat on the wall smiling at me.
In the evening I walked to St.Aldhelm's Head and watched as the Linnets and Yellowhammers traded calls before settling down for the night.
Not a bad way to end the day.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Easy Walks and Slow Worms

A steady wander up to Durlston Country Park was in order today, after a bit of a late night last night. This was no hardship though, as Durlston is a firm favourite of mine and an incredible place. Covering a good chunk of the hills at the south east corner of the Isle of Purbeck, Durlston has some wonderful views and an amazing array of wildlife, flora and fauna.
Highlight of the walk was a tiny, very young Slow-worm, no longer than my finger and thinner than my shoelace. It shimmered in the sun, looking for all the world like it had been made of bronze.
While we were watching Durlston's famous sea birds from the cliff path we were joined by a very friendly Pigeon, who was doing a good job of keeping well away from a Peregrine.

Friday 3 May 2013

Sunset, Robins and a Curious Fox

Another wonderful evening walk, this time from home in Swanage to the cliffs at Durlston with the added bonus of a trip to Poole Harbour to watch the Sun go down.
Anvil Point Lighthouse was looking as splendid as it always does. Regardless of the weather this place is always worth a visit, but bathed in the evening sunshine it is just about perfect.
Robins seemed to be everywhere, singing louder than the growing numbers of newly arrived Whitethroats and looking very smart in the golden light.
On the way home we were joined by a Fox, always good to see and one of three that we got a glimpse of.

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...