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.

Thursday 9 March 2017

Snow on the Purbeck

Following on from yesterday's Snow Bunting photoshoot which took place under grey cloudy skies, I decided to make full use of today's sunshine and blue skies and try again.
It did't take long to find the little chap but it was difficult to leave.


Wednesday 8 March 2017

Winter Visitors

Although the weather hasn't been great I had a chance to pop over to Studland Bay to see a couple of unusual visitors. The Eider Duck was easy enough to find as it perched on a rock just a short distance from the shore, but the Snow Bunting took a little longer. If it wasn't for a two chaps watching a small patch of seaweed I probably would have walked past. Not the best day for a photograph, a little Sun would have been nice, but it was good to see these two and grab a record shot.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Peregrine 1 - Starling 0

This morning's wander along the cliffs was quiet but none the worse for that. It was a walk of misses though with the Roe deer that slipped into the shadows of the woods, the Fox's tail that I assume was still attached to a Fox as it merged with the Gorse and even the back half of an Adder trailed from the Ivy leaving the important end out of sight. Luckily (for me not the Starling) a Peregrine was having breakfast as the Sun tried hard to shine and watching that is never a chore.
As for the rest of the walk, well the sea birds were out and about as usual with Guillemots, Razorbills and Fulmars joining the Jackdaws and a Raven or two.

Sunday 5 March 2017

A Night At The Museum

Last night I packed the cameras and made my way to the Dorset County Museum to take a few pics of a great group of kids and their very patient and, slightly less wide awake, parents. The Jurassic Coast Trust, the charity responsible for promoting 95 miles of our wordl Heritage Coastline, put on their own 'Night at the Museum' with activities and films for tomorrows fossil hunters. In each part of this incredible museum a sleeeping bag could be found ready for a sleepover with a difference, in the company of Dorset's most famous residents, dinosaurs and artifacts. As the lights went down excitement went up, with no one being too phased at sleeping on a 2000 year old Roman mosaic or beneath the gaze of a life sized Thomas Hardy. I found a quiet spot in the Harry Potter-like library which had a nice thick door and remarkable soundproofing!

Saturday 4 March 2017

It's all about the Adder

For me there are fewer more wonderful creatures than snakes and on the Isle of Purbeck we are lucky enough to have all three of the UK's native species. The Adder is the only venomous snake we have and that gives it just a little bit more kudos. Getting close to them is difficult but it is possible as, when the Sun shines, you can find them having a cuddle in the long grass above on of our cliff quarries. They are safe here and cannot easily be disturbed but you do get some superb views.

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...