Monday, 23 April 2018

The Golden Hour

Any photographer will tell of The Golden Hour: that time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the light is softer than at other times of day, making for a very pleasing effect on a photograph. Anyone that enjoys walking at these times will tell you of a very different golden hour, when animals and birds either welcome the morning or settle for the night, this is a transitional time too and is perhaps more obvious in the evening when there seems to be more of a mixture of our day and night creatures.
As a photographer I prefer the morning, the whole day awaits and the possibilities are endless but as a wanderer I prefer the evening when Foxes, Badgers, Sika and Roe reclaim the countryside and their footprints finally outnumber ours.  
People have been watching the sunrise and sunset for thousands of years but we arrived late to this party, other creatures value this time as well and they have been doing so for an awful lot longer. Look and you will find creatures just watching and waiting, with each one having their own thoughts on what the day or the night will bring, for some it is a matter of life and death.
So golden or not, this really is a very special time.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Walking in the Footsteps of Giants

Just a few metres from the Priest’s Way is a patch of land that was cleared for quarrying just a few years ago. This clearance takes away the grass and the topsoil as well as any rough rock, exposing the valuable stone underneath. As it happened this small piece of the Isle of Purbeck turned out to be far more valuable than first thought as it contained the fossil remains of a dinosaur trackway that was first made about 145 million years ago by a herd of giant Sauropods.
It is truly a wonderful find and well worth a visit, which is exactly what I did with a lovely group of people as part of my roll as a Jurassic Coast Ambassador. We started at The Square & Compass, one of Purbeck’s more famous pubs, and spent a fine time exploring the trackway and discussing what went on all those years ago.
I have another walk here for the Jurassic Coast Trust on next Saturday, the 28th, starting at noon and I am looking forward to it being just as popular as the last one.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Birds of a Feather

There is nothing like a bit of Sun to bring out the birds and with the Sun comes more opportunities to get out and about. Walks along the cliff paths can bring sightings of many migrant birds on their way to breeding areas and there is always the chance of something a little special.
Aside from that, Spring is of course a time for nest building and that brings a whole new element to bird photography and finding nest sites is very special, especially if a photograph is possible.
Over the last few days I have wandered more and seen more than I have for quite a while and that is solely due to the weather, these are just a few of the birds that I have spent time with. 

The Dunnock, a personal favourite that supplies a wonderful soundtrack to a walk

The Jackdaw: gangs of these striking birds tumble along the cliffs

The Blackcap: another vocal talent, but always difficult to get close to.

The Chaffinch: a popular local, always ready to pose.

The Long Tailed Tit: great fun to watch as gangs of these tiny birds trip through the trees.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker: a nest site to watch and to watch and to watch.

The Red Kite: common further north but a rarety on the Isle of Purbeck

The Pheasant: another vocal local and this one was not at all scared of heights

The Yellowhammer: time spent with this beautiful bird is never wasted.

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...