Sunday, 8 June 2008

Walking the old S & D line

Years ago when the old Somerset and Dorset Railway was in use, steam trains came thundering along through the Dorset countryside pushing out clouds of steam and taking people to their holidays or work or just a pleasant day out. Those days are long gone now but gradually bits of the old track are being cleared and opened again for walkers and cyclists to enjoy. We found out that last week the bit from Fiddleford to Shillingstone had been reopened so off we went, parked at Shillingstone and walked towards Hammoon and Fiddleford. The first bit is across a field and a track before you get up onto the track path. We took a wrong turning down a bridlepath but found this old bridge covered in undergrowth and a shadow of it's former glory.
As you can see it was well overgrown so we retraced our steps back to the proper path again! Still a great place for birds, the sound of them was amazing.
You'll have to take my word for it ( unless you can click and enlarge the photo) but just above the crop to the left is a barn owl. This was the highlight for me, we watched it through the binoculars cruising along the hedgerows on two sides of this fields. It did this for a while then dropped down into the crop and after a few seconds came up with something it had caught and flew away, presumably to it's nest. Magic! Anyway we walked 3 1/2 miles in total which I thought was quite good as I was on night shift the night before and only got 2 hours sleep! I wouldn't have missed this walk for the world...try it if you live in Dorset.
This was a red damselfly in the garden, the lovely weather is bringing them all out.


Border Reiver said...

Hi Snowgoosey, great stuff. You were nearly down our way, I know the S&D Trailway well Where was the Barn Owl, as I've never seen one in the Fiddleford area, though it's ideal,

Greentwinsmummy said...

gosh that bridge picture is amospheric,how blessed one would be to sit there for a few hours,drinking in the peace & dappled light :o)

I can see the owl in the last photo! arent they stunnning!