Feb 28, 2017 - Home    No Comments

At Home

I’m still missing my morning walks it doesn’t seem right not having Kim by my side. But there is still plenty of action from our garden. We have plenty of visitors to our bird tables and a few residents, like A flock of House Sparrows, a couple of Wrens, plenty of Blackbirds and of course a few Starlings coming in besides the occasional Blue and Great tits and many others. 

I put a suet block on our table outside and a few birds came to visit then suddenly a flock of Long Tailed tits appeared , I managed to get my camera and take a picture through the kitchen window. They are so busy and soon disappeared off to some other food source I expect.

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tits

Then another time I was washing up and there was a Greater Spotted Woodpecker enjoying the block, he stayed for a while which allowed me again to get the camera and take a picture through the kitchen window.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Because the field below was ploughed and reseeded in the autumn it has been a hive of activity for birds, besides a couple of Buzzards who search for worms running across the field at times and also many Fieldfares and Redstarts when the weather was really cold. There could have been a 100 or more at times. The Rabbits appear to be doing well and we still have a resident black Rabbit with them, there has been one in the warren for a few years probably an offspring from the original escapee.

 

Feb 10, 2017 - Arne, Out and About    No Comments

Visit to Arne

The BBC has now left Arne after Winterwatch so we decided to take a trip down hoping it would be quiet, it was fairly busy, it must be the “Winterwatch effect” but once you get on the paths through the reserve it is quiet most of the time.

As always we expected to see certain things but it never seems to happen! We were hoping to get some images of the Dartford Warblers up on the top of Shipstal beach in the flowering Gorse it was a cold but sunny day. They decided to be elusive and all I saw was a few flying into the Gorse away from us.

As we were on the top of Shipstal a Peregrine Falcon flew over I just managed to get an image although he wasn’t too close but it was lovely to see. There were a few birds towards Green Island, Cormorants, Oyster Catchers and a Red Breasted Merganser which we could see with the binoculars.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Of course there are always Robin’s about and the one below was singing his heart out I can never resist a photo of this bird.

Robin in full song

Robin in full song

We walked round to Shipstal ponds, again very quiet and on to the hide overlooking the harbour, we could see the Spoonbills on the bank some distance from the hide as always and there were several Curlews in the marshes, we love to hear them calling a very haunting sound. There were  few Sika deer on the marshes we saw a few groups around the reserve.

We had some dinner in our camper van and then I set off  for a walk round Middlebere heath again the wildlife seemed to be in hiding a few distant waders and the RSPB workers were cutting Gorse on the heath. I was just on the way back to the van when I looked left and a white Sika hind watching me, I just managed a quick picture before she disappeared into the Gorse. 

Leucistic Sika Hind

Leucistic Sika Hind

Jan 29, 2017 - Out & About, Red Kite    No Comments

Looking for Red Kites

It had rained all the previous night and the weather has become more changeable after the very cold spell but it looked a lovely clear day with possibility of showers so we decided to take a trip out to see if we could see Red Kites.

We drove up to Fontmell Down and had a little walk there but no Kites but we did see something unusual, a long way off but they stood out. There was a small herd of Deer across the valley in some scrubby ground and although I wasn’t sure what it was at first thinking it was sheep I looked through the camera and realised it was a white Fallow Stag and then below it on the hillside was a white Hind.

White Fallow Stag

White Fallow Stag

White Fallow Hind

White Fallow Hind

No luck with the Red Kites there was a Pheasant shooting party quite close, so we decided to go to Win Green and take a look. We hadn’t gone too far along the road when we spotted a couple of Kites but they disappeared as soon as we could stop. We got to Win Green and there were more enjoying the thermals and the appeared now and again as we had a walk.

View from Win Green towards the Blackmore Vale

View from Win Green towards the Blackmore Vale

Red Kite

It was wonderful to see them flying, but they didn’t have it all their own way, they were mobbed by the Rooks, possibly some Ravens as well plus Buzzards about, but they seem to live alongside each other.

Buzzard

Buzzard

Buzzard

Buzzard

Jan 23, 2017 - Home, Morning walk    No Comments

Morning walk

Sunrise 08:05 Sunset 16:33 GMT

I’m still finding it hard to get out an about for local walks especially in the morning without my lovely Kim and I am feeling as though I am missing out on all the things I usually see around dawn. Hopefully the motivation will come back once the days get lighter and not so grey! Having said that I have been on a few local walks during the day.

One day I walked across to Hammoon Harbour and back via the North Dorset Trailway, it was grey so not much picture taking although I did notice some possible landscape images when the light is right. When I got onto the trailway I noticed what I thought was clumps of grass at the top of the field, when I looked with my camera I saw it was at least eight Roe Deer in the grass relaxing!

One morning I looked outside, it was still quite dark I spotted a Fox goung across the field at the back of our house. He snuffled around looking for food for a while so I was able to take a few pictures of him.

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