Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Super Moon

At nine o'clock on Sunday night I took a photo of the moon before it entered its orange eclipse wonder! I won't go into the scientific detail because I simply don't have a clue! However what I do know is that it was a spectacular sight!

No, I didn't hijack the Hubble Telescope and take a picture of Mars, this is the moon! I'm sure you know the moon was at its best roughly around 3:30, so this meant I had to sacrifice a decent nights sleep for this photo as I had to get up at 7:00 in the morning for school! As you can see there is a huge change of colours from bright white to dusky orange.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Portland - Part 2

Breaking wave, Portland Bill
After a walk down to the Bill, the waves were crashing against rocks. Another photo courtesy of Sports Mode on the camera.

Emperor Dragonfly 
The next day the female Emperor Dragonfly came back to the pond. I managed to get close enough to get a head shot.

On the way back up to the Observatory, dozens of Swallows were perched all the way up the road. I patiently crept up on this Swallow and eventually got this.

Sunset at Pulpit Rock
And finally to end a great day, a sunset over Pulpit Rock.

Monday, 24 August 2015


Common Darter
Recently, we took our annual three night visit to Portland Bird Observatory. It started off with a Common Darter perched on a reed overhanging the Observatory's wildlife littered pond.

Emperor Dragonfly
Having only waited a minute at the edge of the pond after the Common Darter had landed, this male Emperor came in to land as well. Rather lucky, as it had been flying around for the past 20 minutes. 

Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Later on that day, there was a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the flowers in the garden. This was a challenge as they move very fast and are very small. It's not quite in focus but an all right picture.

And to end the almost perfect photographic day on Portland, this sunset over the Observatory.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Haven't seen you in a while!

Painted Lady
I haven't posted in a while due to laziness, poor I know, but having broken one of the fundamental parts of Dad's birthday present I had to redeem myself!  I am going to go a bit off track and showing you some of my butterfly pictures that I have recently taken. This first one is a Painted Lady that was at Durlston.

On that same walk we saw this Skipper, feeding on a thistle. Now unfortunately after hours (minutes actually) of trying to identify this butterfly we still couldn't figure out what it was.  Please comment if you think you know because we are stuck!

Marbled Whites mating
Further up the path we saw two Marbled Whites mating. The Marbled White is the common and widespread butterfly in its group, the Browns.

Common Blue
And very recently we saw this Common Blue.  It feeds on clover, birdsfoot-trefoil and rest harrow. They are normally found April to September.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

What's been around - April 2015

A few weeks ago, we went up Challow Hill to see if we could find a Yellowhammer.  The further we went up, the more common they were.  It took a while to get close enough to this one to get a good photograph.  Yellowhammers are a beautiful bird to photograph. 

About a week ago, we went to Portland to see what was around the island.  When we were walking down to the Bill, we saw a Linnet on a bramble swaying around in the wind.  When the bramble eventually stayed still I managed to get a picture.

Dartford Warbler
Recently, we went out on Middlebere Heath to see if we could get a picture of a Dartford Warbler. We didn't see one for a while but eventually we saw one perch up and then dip back down into the gorse.  We waited for it to come back up and soon enough it did.  Bit of a scruffy tail but the bird perched up nicely.

A few days ago, we went to Swyre Head to see if we could get a photo of a Pheasant.  It wasn't looking good at first because we couldn't actually see any for a while.  Right at the end of the walk, there was one sat on its own in a field.  I managed to get close enough to get this headshot of the bird.  You can see the lovely markings on its chest and head.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Another Gull at Radipole - 27th March 2015

Bonaparte's Gull
On Friday, there were reports in the morning that there was a Bonaparte's Gull at Radipole Lake. Now this wasn't the first sighting around Weymouth recently, there was one at Ferry Bridge about three weeks ago which then came to Radipole a week later, but it is the same one. In the afternoon, I was leisurely walking out of school and when I got in the car, Dad told me about the gull and in no less than 40 minutes, we were there. We hurried down the Buddleia loop having heard that the bird was still there. At first, we couldn't see it but when we went a little bit further, we could. It was making acrobatic turns and fly pasts about 10 to 20 metres away. Bonaparte's Gulls come from North America are very rare in Dorset, this is the first for over 30 years.

Bonaparte's Gull
Considering that it was a dull grey day, we didn't spend long taking photos but these were the best I got. For much better photos when the bird was at Radipole previously, go to Peter Moore's blog and scroll down until you get to the title: Waiting for a gull like you...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Finally! - 8th February 2015

Tufted Duck
After a whole year of trying to see the pesky Bearded Tits at Radipole Lake, the deadlock was broken when we had great views today. When we arrived on the off chance that they would be there, to our astonishment they were hanging around in between the shadow of the Visitor Centre and the sunlight. But unfortunately they kept feeding in the shadow. To pass some time I decided to take some pictures of a Tufted Duck.

Bearded Tit
After impatiently waiting for a while, the Bearded Tits eventually started to work their way over into the sunlight. However this was the start of another problem, the wind which was blowing like mad outside the shield of the Visitor Centre. With the reeds moving and the birds facing the wrong way, it took a while to get the right shot but I finally got it.

Bearded Tit

Here's another one of the best pics but not quite as good as the first one.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Year List - January 2015

This year I have decided to try and photograph as many bird species as I can in a year.  The only rule is that you have to be able to identify the bird in the picture.  Here's a few of my favourites so far....

The Oystercatcher was in Poole Harbour, off Shore Road.

When Radipole is in sunlight it can be a real treat. Here's a Teal and a Mallard that were close to the bridge.

Great Tit
This Great Tit was in the scrub by the car park at Durlston.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Pick your pic! - 4th Jaunary 2015

As 2014 has ended I thought I would follow in the steps of Peter Moore and write a 2014 best pictures blog. Please leave a comment at the bottom if possible to say which is your favorite pic.

Red Kite
This Red Kite picture was taken in Oxfordshire up on the Downs. We walked along the edge of a field to find the bird soaring over our heads. Of course, sports mode (a setting on the camera) is the only option for flight shots so the sound of gunfire came from the camera. This may have not appeared on the blog in the past but it is a worthy contender.

Emperor Dragonfly 
Now this may not be a bird but it shows how a female Emperor Dragonfly lays its eggs in the Portland Bird Observatory pond. This was taken earlier in the year in August when we stayed three nights at Portland.

When we were in Keyhaven, we saw a Redshank on the mud during our walk that just looked liked it wanted a picture. And sure enough he got a good one. So this one is a competitor.

Common Tern
This Common Tern appeared in the blog quite a while back in June when we were walking along the sea front at Weymouth when this specimen popped up on top of a groyne post. Took a bit of sneaking up, but eventually got the shot.

Finally, but by no means least, this Yellowhammer was at Challow Hill, near Corfe Castle. It was a long way up the hill but definitely worth the effort as they are such amazing birds.

I would just would like to remind you that it would be great if you could comment on your favourite pic if possible. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog in 2014 and the posts will keep coming! Please comment if you can!