It’s the last week of September already and after a really wet weekend the weather has changed to cold nights and beautiful sunny days, this means mist in the morning, just right for Tilly and myself to be out before dawn which is now around 7 o’clock.

Dawn near New Cross
Dawn near New Cross

It’s not so easy to capture the wildlife at this time of the morning because the light is not so good, It doesn’t mean I’m not on the lookout, there is still plenty to see. On Monday morning after the rain I was lucky enough to see the Barn Owl just slipping into the Barn, always a good time to spot it as it tends to be out later in the morning as they don’t like hunting in the rain as their feathers are not very waterproof.

On the Tuesday I went down Melways Lane towards Hanford and to the river, the sunrise was amazing with the light mist coming off the river. I heard and then saw a Kingfisher fly along the river, a Moorhen disappearing into the reeds and we also spooked a Heron who was fishing on the bank.

As always there are the Rooks, they seem to be the earliest to be out and about at least fifty flew from their roost in Melways Lane. There is plenty of birdlife about flocks of Longtailed Tits busily chirping in the trees, Robins looking perkier now and many more small birds about of course. We are getting a little Coal Tit in the garden on the feeders, I haven’t managed to get a picture yet. The Swallows and Martins are still passing through, last night when I was on the way to Blandford from home there were a large number in the sky heading for the coast, apparently they like to fly on their migration at night and the weather is just right for them at the moment, I would imagine.

Mist on the Stour near Hanford
Mist on the Stour near Hanford

I enjoyed a walk with Tilly on Wednesday on Hambledon Hill. The mist in the Blackmore Vale was beautiful with the early morning sun picking out some landmarks like Piddles wood. Our village of Child Okeford has to wait for the sun to get over the hill before it gets the sunlight, usually when I’m on my way home to a cup of tea and breakfast.

Child Okeford, still not in the sun at
Child Okeford, still not in the sun at 07.36
The sunny side of Hambledon Hill looking towards Shaftesbury
The sunny side of Hambledon Hill looking towards Shaftesbury at 07.44

I usually see at least one Roe deer when I’m out, we have them in the field below our garden and they seem to be used to us in our gardens, I think if someone went over the fence they would soon be gone. When I was out this morning I saw three under Hambledon Hill near the Manor.

With the sunshine there are late Butterflies, still plenty of Speckled Woods, a few Red Admirals and Peacocks and of course many Large Whites in the garden. Really pleased to see this Small Copper in the garden blending in with the Bidens flower this afternoon.

Red Copper Butterfly
Small Copper Butterfly

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