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Elizabeth and Malcolm's Bluetit Pages
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Some Dorset sites.

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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: Some Dorset sites. Reply with quote

I will mention the regular sites of Radipole lakes, where I was very lucky to see my first (flying camel coat) F Marsh Harrier, and at the same time had the delight of a merlin sitting on a post, in the sights of my scope for an hour (BLISS) I dsidn't see or hear the ping ping of the bearded tit or the cettis warbler despite it being there, but we had a snipe and plenty godwit just in the RSPB shop there, the building does serve as a break from the weather, and you get great views of the birds that are around.

Portland Bill must be a very good spot, but as yet I have failed to get there, but then that is a pleasure awaiting me as yet. I have yet to source a decent spot for parking as close as possible due to the nature of my mobilty, but then I will make it some time, as I am so determined.

Hengisbury Head is a BRILLIANT birding spot, and I go frequently as it is so close and wheelchair friendly, well noted for its often unusual birds at any season, Whimbrel in July, every hirundine late April, various ducks as the seasons go, Grebes, little egrets (breeding colony there) I have even seen a fox in broad daylight, redshanks, greenshanks, curlew, godwits, and many more. Also a small densly wooded section where I was so lucky to see one November a Pallas Warbler, after a delightful aerobatic display between two Kestrels, two Magpies, one Sparrowhawk and greenwoodpecker, and a flock of stonechats, all up together! Brialliant! wherever you go on the head there is always something to see, so for me a birders paradise. The best bit about that place is, no one notices the wheelchair, BONUS!

Not so easily accessed a place called Whitesheet, most recognised for the "sunseeker rallye" which is on this weekend Crying or Very sad but after that, Very Happy birding extraordinare! Across the area between West moors, Holt, Colehill, and Three legged cross is a vast moorland area, where in the end of April you will see, Wood larks displaying, Yellowhammers perched up high singing their refrain, glowing in the sunlight. Linnets, buzzards, Kestrels, woodpeckers, GSW, Little and green. but I was delighted with the display of the Dartford warblers sitting in their Y formation, shimmering in the light. stonechats chatting, chiff chaffs singing, and the flora and fauna also looking good, I found a funny looking orchid type of plant, and was told it was something called lousewort, what a rotten name for something as beautiful as that was! During the foot and mouth epidemic there was a Montagues Harrier nested there that year, but with the ammount of dog walkers there and horse riders, they wouldn't stay there now, but I did find them in their new habitat, so if anyone is interested, they had better ask me to go with them, as I will not give away the secret place. I was there with my friend when I saw her, and as we were looking to see if we could get another sighting a vehicle pulled up and asked what we had been watching, I was very cagey, so said I had seen some sort of raptor chasing off a Buzzard very low and fast, not a very good sight as it was so fast, next thing I knew there were thirty odd cars from all directions! I though, B***** a BL**** pager! Now we'll see nowt! so we cleared off, tried garston wood, but that is barricaded from the likes of myself, so we have decided not to bother again, although I did try and get around on two walking sticks and the flowers were brilliant, I spent the next two days flat on my back in agony, the price of trying to walk!

Martin is a great nature reserve on the edge of Dorset and WIltshire, there a regular Nightingale sings in the open, and many other birds, lizards and snakes, butterflies and moths can be seen right up as close as the car park, but the rough terrain on the other side of the busy road is again inaccessible to whellchair users, or any with limited walking skills, but I could well imagine a blind person would thoroughly enjoy the sounds of the wildlife, and a deaf person would enjoy spotting the birds as they do show themselves well. Don't attempt it if mobility is the problem though, unless you don't mind getting violently bucked in a heavy duty buggy, as the paths are little more than one deep groove, full of chunks of rock.

I do have my favourite little places to go and watch, even my frequent trips to college at Shaftesbury take me through some of the most wonderful countryside, I am enthralled at the large ammount of snowdrops everywhere I go in this woody countryside. I am really looking forward to seeing the cowslips on the ancient ring ditches at Knowlton ruins around the end of april until the end of march, the place is awash with them. Tarrant Keyneston heading out of that village towards Shaftesbury there are a huge swathe of wild orchids on the verge, they can be seen well into june, delightful.

I will have to add to this later or I may not be able to post as there is such a lot to say, just if you are this way look on the maps to place my name droppings, you will find them quite easily, other than the secret, which will not come from my fingers.

I am to Photography as Hitler was to peace
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Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2245

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

radipole is brilliant for cettis. one april they were sitting out like Robins!!

Portland is difficult to get close to the sea for you Nina. bit rocky if memory serves


ithhn't it
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Wendy Woo

Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Posts: 47
Location: Hayes, Middx

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely well written post Nina, made me very jealous Smile
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Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 468
Location: Woodley, Reading

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Nicely written.
Makes me want to come and pay your area a visit some time.

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Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 772
Location: South-west England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been trying to find info about these sites following from your praise of them as they are not too far from Bath where I am. I do know Martin Down which is indeed fantastic. I have attached the extract from the EN site showing Holt.
Poster: Peter, viewed 86 Time(s)

Holt too
Holt too
Poster: Peter, viewed 106 Time(s)

There are interactive maps which are fairly easy to use showing designated nature reservesa nd areas that following surveys are obviously of interest and special attention:
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