Sunrise over Poole harbour from the houseWith my Mum and Duffy (step-dad) down for the weekend we thought we would all head over to Shell Bay via the Sandbanks chain-link ferry as it was a nice sunny day. It's just about a five minute trip on the ferry and we parked up just on the other side. Some great habitat around the car park but probably not best positioned for migrants but could be worth checking out occasionally as birds could filter up the coast to here and hang around before crossing the short stretch of water - always the optimist! Walking over the boardwalk there were a few Common Darter posing nicely on the hand rails.
We walked south along the beach where there is a lovely little inlet which would be great if it was undisturbed but like so many of our beaches etc they are over-run by "leisure" activities. The heathland starts immediately inland fron the dunes and I was pleased to see a couple of Dartford Warbler, a juv and an adult, the latter latching on to a Wheatear like they do with Stonechat. Keeping tabs of the Palace score via Twitter meant that Saturday afternoon emotions were typically all over the place, 2 nil down then 4-2 up with a nervy last ten minutes when Burnley brought it back to 4-3 but thankfully we held on for the three points, though how long we hold to Wilfried Zaha is another matter...
Anyway, this is where the Dartford Warbler were, looking back towards Sandbanks and Brownsea Island:
Shell Bay heathland
There were quite a few Red Admiral moving north along the beach but not much else lep action, nor for that matter on the avian front so here are a couple of landscape pictures:
The Sandbanks ferry, with the opulent Sandbanks area on the right of the photo
We thought we would drive the long way back via Swanage, where we enjoyed some delicious ice-creams and possibly the last of the sunshine for this year
Earlier in the day there was some decent butterfly action in the garden with the following two posing well: