It wasn’t just the sound of waves crashing against the cliffs that was carried on the wind this morning. Along with a multitued of Jackdaws, Pigeons and Herring Gulls, (all of which seem to enjoy the strong winds and use the air currents to perform all sorts of incredible maneuvers) a single Short Eared Owl blew past the headland. For all of its size, it looked to be struggling with the gusts. This is the first time I have seen one of these superb birds for years, when I managed to get quite close. They are day feeding Owls and they have been sited on a couple of occasions at Durlston Country Park recently, so fingers crossed I’ll see them again soon.
The garden bird feeders have been busy lately with plenty of Sparrows, Blue and Great Tits, the usual Robins and Dunnocks as well as a Wren or two. The odd gang of young Long Tailed Tits have also been seen tubbling through trees, making plenty of noise and forcing the other birds from the peanuts even though they are so tiny. This morning as the rain poured, the garden went quiet as a Sparrowhawk watched and waited for the smaller birds to break cover.
This morning I took a lovely group of people for a wander around the many pathways that crisscross the beautiful Durlston Country Park. This walk was billed as a photography wildlife walk and even though the fog took a little while to lift there was more than enough to keep us amused.
Plenty of birds were visible right from the start with Jays, Magpies and Jackdaws making themselves heard, keeping just enough of a distance from us.
First stop for us was the meadow where the raising fog was leaving behind millions of chrystal-bright droplets of water that held on to every surface. Spending time changing position and camera settings, using the water topped seedheads and decorated spider’s webs, can prove invaluable when you are learning what your camera can do for you.
Using the macro settings too can take you into a world that is often ignored.