Sunday, 26 April 2009

Studland Heath and more Cuckoo's

I have just been on nights for a couple of nights so wanted a gentle stroll rather than a route march so we drove over to Studland via Corfe Castle. This rather flat and nondescipt field is near the shore of the south side of Poole harbour. The National Trust own it and are trying to let it revert back to heathland. It will take many years to get rid of the fertilisers that have been put on the land, they have removed most of the fences to let cattle, horses and sheep freely graze it and in the course of time it should become heathland again.
This green water is the result of clay in the ground giving it this amazing jewel-like quality, the area was a great industry years ago of clay extraction and the stuff was taken down to the harbour on small tram lines the remains of which are everywhere on this part of Purbeck.
We heard the Cuckoo again (not the same one as last evening!) and lots of yaffles of Green Woodpeckers but again I didn't see them....I swear they are laughing at me because I never manage to see them!

The first Cuckoo

Hooray, whilst walking in a local country park before going onto night shift last night I heard a Cuckoo. It's the first I have heard this year,although one of my colleagues, husband heard one two days before me. He is a travelling Blacksmith so I suppose he is out there in the countryside alot.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Just gone...and left her skin behind!

I have been watching Barry (Slow worm ) and his/her babies every day but when I lifted the lid two days ago I found the babies still there but no Barry....just this rather gruesome skin left! I had no idea that Slow worms shed their skin like snakes. You live and learn! I'm sure he isn't far away and so long as he keeps the slug and snail population down I don't mind where he lives.
I have never grown tulips before but last autumn I purchased a few packets of bulbs from a cheap and cheerful shop called In Excess and have been rewarded with this show just outside my back door. It lifts the heart when you go out to hang the washing and I shall certainly plant more next year.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

These two fabulous Huf haus ( seen on Grand Designs a year or two ago)have a view over the sea at Studland as in the following picture. ....I could live with that view! It's Old Harry rocks and it's a great walk up to the end too. Actually we didn't realise until we were on the way back that we had been tresspassing when I took this picture, didn't spot the sign at all on the way up! We ended up walking to the hide at Brands Bay and as we sat there this deer came right up under where we were sitting, we could hear it tearing the grass with it's teeth we were so close!
The sunset was glorious, we watched the terns diving for food right in front of the hide and hundreds of Shelduck flying in to spend the night here I presume. A few Oystercatchers, Mallards, Canada geese but not much else about really.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The sun off we went

A and I walked Wrecks near Badbury Rings a few days ago, a lovely sunny day that had us baring our arms to the sun for the first time this year. As we walked long the edge of the field we were having to be careful not to tread on the many Peacock butterfly's that were sunning themselves on the path. Orange tips and Small White butterflies too.
This tree is the suff of children's dreams, if you were a child wouldn't you want to climb in and see what a tree is like inside? It would be fun to climb in and then talk to passers by so that they thought the tree was talking to them!...Oh really, I must get a grip!!!!
Today we have walked around Studland and stopped at a birdhide overlooking Goathorn and the quieter part of Poole Harbour, watching the terns dive into the water and having three deer grazing right next to the hide. More another day when I have downloaded the photos.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Great White Egret or a Great Blue Eijet!

Yesterday,being a grey and showery (and if I'm honest a little chilly) April day I went for a walk along the River Stour with my daughter and son. After a while I decided to sit on a seat and see if I could see any birdlife, especially kingfishers (I didn't see any!) A and E walked on with the dog and out of sight. Next thing I pick up through the bins is a bobbing head in the river swimming down and past me....was it a great white egret? it was a great blue eijet!
He swum about 3/4 mile I think! They got far enough away from me, E stripped off and in he went. Clearly he is barking mad and I was not happy trying to birdwatch!
I did Quicksilvers bird count over the weekend, not brilliant but I enjoyed trying.
Wood pigeon
Blue tit
Great tit
Spotted Flycatcher
Feral Pigeon
Mute swan
Graylag Goose
Canada goose

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Play area for grown-ups...

I met this young lady whilst walking the Dorset coast path last night, what a cracker! We walked from Ringstead Bay above Osmington near Weymouth east to White Nothe. This was the view as we walked eastwards. The fields of Oil seed rape are beginning to turn the landscape yellow, I'm not that keen on it but it's an ever growing crop now (pardon the pun) and we have to get used to it.

Our local park has just put in these activity bits at various stages around the park. They are very popular and my daughter and I enjoyed a pleasant hour playing on them the other evening....and what a view, better than any gym!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Turners Puddle, Throop, Tolpuddle...who can resist names like that?

Sunday was such a wonderful spring day, we drove to Turners Puddle near Bere Regis, parked outside the lovely Turners Puddle Church whose graveyard was covered in Celandine and Primroses. As you walk along the path up to the ancient door you are given a guard of honour by the ball shaped box plants either side of the path.
Leaving the Church we walked towards Tolpuddle (famous for the Tolpuddle Martyrs ) for about a mile before turning back and going down the pretty path to Throop, (this is not the Throop near Bournemouth which is not really in the country at all. ) To get to Throop we crossed the river and walked alongside it, seeing lots of birds as we stopped and watched over the bridge.
High point being watching a Chiff Chaff washing in the shallow edge of the River Piddle, Blackcaps singing loudly from the ivy covered trees. We also saw the first Swallow we have seen this summer so far....and two escapee chickens running up the path!

Cross the ford in the lane before getting back to the car. I think this is one of my favourite walks, this and Coombe Keynes. It has so many happy memories of when our children were small and they would love to walk here, there are plenty of paddling stops and conveniently placed ropes hanging from trees, suspended over the river. More than once we have waded out to rescue a soggy child, having fallen off! We have enjoyed many picnics along this path too.
When our youngest was only about 3 we saw him looking very closely at something on the ground, we went over to see what he had found and he was admiring an adder at a very close range..."Look the worm has a ziggy zaggy back Mummy..." Mummy swiftly removed said child!

This churchyard was just amazing so covered in Celandine, I took far to many pictures of it!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Go down a dingy path and what's beyond....

Go down this narrow twitten ( I's a Sussex word for alleyway, and I think it sounds nicer) walk down the steep slope and you come to the view below.
This is the view that will surprise you, this hill is called Gold Hill and was used a few years ago in a well-known bread advert, for Hovis bread. It's a cobbled road and deceptively steep, the handrail is needed by alot of people as they climb up and down. the wonderful Blackmore Vale beyond the houses, stunning Dorset scenery.

Here's another view of the Blackmore Vale from Shaftesbury, the hill on the skyline is Bulbarrow Hill where I have taken pictures from in the past.
Today has been such a lovely spring day, the sunshine really coming through and the crops in the fields shooting up and turning into the emerald green we only see at this time of year. The birds are busy getting nests ready, skylarks singing and the rooks and crows seem to be everywhere. On the way home we stopped at Badbury Rings and just stayed there until it was nearly dark....too nice to go home!