Jez organises her own hydro-fit

Thursday 15th September 2016

This morning I took the dogs for a walk along the River Stour at Cowgrove as I’d had to take Jez to the vet in Wimborne earlier for a cartrophen injection. We’d gone to Wimborne for it as Jez didn’t have a hydro-therapy session this week (they take place in the vets’ Bournemouth branch).

It was a very nice morning, as you can see.

A nice morning on the River Stour

And once Jez got in the river she set about wading around in quite deep water to make up for the lack of her organised session in the water walker.

Jez organises her own hydro-fit session

Max, meanwhile, just wanted to play cone.

Max in the river

As you may have guessed from that last photo I was out in the middle of the river with them. We had been playing there for some time when I turned round and realised that there was a Little Egret perched in a tree close by, watching us.

Little Egret perched in the tree watching us

After spending quite a while in the river we started to walk back to the car. In one of the fields along the way were some Red Devon cattle with their calves.

Red Devon and calves

And that was about it for our walk this morning. Jez still doesn’t feel up to tackling Eye Bridge, so we went straight back to the car.

A year ago today

We had a visitor in our garden: this lovely Common Darter.

Common Darter

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We end up at the vet

Thursday 28th July 2016

Today I thought it would be nice to go to the River Stour at Eye Bridge, so that’s what Jez, Max and I did. Jez is still a bit stiff and sore so I didn’t expect it to be a long walk.

Walking along the river bank you could see all of the teasel starting to flower.

Teasel

We walked along to the bay where the dogs play and I decided not to join them in the water today. But I threw Max’s cone for him while Jez waded out into the middle of the river.

Max

I was surprised to see that a little egret didn’t seem at all bothered by her.

Little Egret

In fact, not only was it not bothered by her presence, but it was so intent on fishing that it kept walking towards her.

Little Egret

Fortunately Jez completely ignored it, and eventually came back to join me and Max.

She didn’t want to walk on round, so we headed back towards a car. By the cows’ field I stopped to chat to a lady with a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and while I did so one of the young cows wandered over. Jez got very excited and managed to fall over! When she got up she would hardly walk and her left elbow was stuck out much more than usual. So she hobbled back to the car and I drove her round to the vet. Here usual vet came and saw her and thought it was most probably a slight sprain, and prescribed rest. She really is in the wars this week.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Canford Heath where there were lots of puddles.

Even more puddles

Birds at Upton Country Park

Thursday 21st January 2016

Pilates day means Upton Country Park, so that’s where Max and I went this morning. I don’t have any photos from yesterday, by the way, as in the morning I took the dogs over to my Dad’s to sort out a few bits and pieces for him.

Although it is still fairly cold, the forecast is for it to start warming up, and this morning I discarded my hat gloves and scarf and walked around the Country Park with my coat open.

As we walked towards the stream I heard a bird singing loudly in the trees and looked up to see a thrush sitting in the topmost branches. As it was slightly obscured I didn’t get a photo of it though. We played in the stream, walked through the Woodland Walk and then went onto the lake, where I spotted a headless duck.

Headless duck

Thankfully she soon proved that she did indeed have a head and was just searching for food in the weeds.

Oh good - there she is!

Walking on round we spotted the buzzard again, this time keeping an eye on the proceedings around him.

The buzzard keeps watch

Max had another play in the steam and then we headed in the direction of the boardwalk. En route we had to walk past Max’s nemesis – Alder, which currently has lots of catkins.

Alder - Max's nemisis

Poor Max is badly allergic to alder, but there’s no avoiding it, or the silver birches and oaks that he’s also allergic to (although slightly less so).

This morning in the field with the cows there were lots of Little Egrets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many there. I took this photo as we walked along the side of the field.

Little Egret

And this one as we got round into the old orchard.

Little Egret

I keep hoping I’ll see one of the avocets from Poole Harbour there (which has been known in the past), but to no avail.

A year ago today

I took the dogs to visit Dad. What a coincidence.

Jez, Max and I went to visit Dad

Turlin Moor Nature Reserve

Wednesday 15th July 2015

I don’t seem to have any photos from our walk on Monday (Upton Heath), and there were none yesterday as I didn’t go for a walk since I had to take my Dad to the eye clinic at the hospital. Today, though, Max and I went down to Lychett Bay for our walk. Rain threatened but it wasn’t particularly cold. I’m not sure how long the signs have been there (I’ve most probably missed them in the path) but apparently where we walk is officially Turlin Moor Nature Reserve. Whatever it is called, though, Max was happy to be there.

Max

As you can see, the grass and the reeds have grown up a lot since our last visit. That meant that they were attracting quite a lot of insects. Here are a few.

A rather splendid peacock butterfly.

Peacock Butterly

A caterpillar of some sort.

Caterpillar

A Marbled White Butterfly.

Marbled White Butterfly

And a Cinabarr moth caterpillar on a ragwort flower.

Cinabarr Moth Caterpillar on Ragwort

Some ragwort plants are just smothered in these at the moment.

There was also a roe deer down by the water’s edge across the bay. It disappeared into the long grass before I could get a photo of it though.

Moving on we came to the boats.

Becalmed

Where the bay was calm they were being reflected nicely in the water.

Boats

And someone has splodged bright pink paint on the side of that old rotting boat.

Pink Patch

We had a little game of cone in the water (I’m still being careful not to throw the cone so that Max jumps for it because of his elbows) and then headed back. By the bird hide, though, I spotted this little egret feeding.

Little Egret

And that’s about it for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went down to Hamworthy on a warm, sunny day.

Jez in the sea

A grey walk at Upton Country Park

Wednesday 28th January 2015

It was cold and grey again today, with very little to recommend it. Jez stayed in bed while I took Max to Upton Country Park. Here’s Max on the boardwalk. I think you can see what I mean about it being cold and grey.

Max on the Boardwalk

We are still walking a reverse route to take in the new paths late on in our walk, so that I can wash Max off in the stream. So after the boardwalk we walked on to the place in the stream where Max has always played, and then walked on round to the lake. At the lake there was a Little Egret fishing.

Little Egret

From the lake we walked over the small boardwalk towards the industrial estate and the new paths, but not before Max had leapt off the boardwalk into the stream again.

Max in the stream

After that, as I said, we headed for the path by the industrial estate, where I took this photo, which I feel looks best in black and white.

Looking towards Upton Trading Estate

It was one of those days when I wasn’t too disappointed when our walk ended and I could get back home to the warm.

A year ago today

It looks as though it was a bit of a cold cloudly day for a walk on Canford Heath.

The sun breaks through over Canford Heath

It’s mainly about birds

Thursday 22nd january 2015

This morning dawned bright and sunny, albeit cold, and as Jez decided to stay in bed I took Max to Upton Country Park. The tide was really high this morning – about as high as it gets.

High tide

As we crossed the boardwalk I took this photo of the sun through the reed beds.

Sunlight through the reeds

There were quite a lot of teal out on the water today, too.

Male and female Teal

And the Little Egrets were back in the fields.

Little Egret

Once again I failed to see the Redwing and Fieldfares that I was assured were around.

Back home in the afternoon and I was catching up on my cleaning, as the new part I needed for my vacuum cleaner had arrived. I had realised a few days ago, though, that in the afternoon the sun is getting round onto my bird feeders, so at one point I took a break from the cleaning and tried out an idea I’d had: of standing just inside the garage door and using it as a sort of hide. It worked really well, as you can see.

Here is a blue tit.

Blue Tit

And a couple of house sparrows on the feeders over by the fence (I took this one for my Dad as he hasn’t seen a sparrow for a while).

House Sparrows

And my favourite, the Long-tailed tit.

Long-tailed tit

There are a few more photos of them on my Flickr stream if you want to hop across there. Otherwise I’ll leave you with one last photo: of a blue tit and long-tailed tit on the feeder.

Something's caught their attention

A year ago today

Max and I were at Upton Country Park, where I spotted a Sparrowhawk in a tree.

Sparrowhawk

Another cold, grey, damp day dawns

Wednesday 7th January 2015

Jez actually thought she might come for a walk with Max and I, and got as far as sticking her nose out of the front door. Then she changed her mind and went back to bed. It’s alright for some!

So Max and I went to Upton Country Park where, towards the end of our walk, the sun thought it might try and break through the clouds.

The sun tries to break through the clouds

It wasn’t successful.

Earlier on we had seen several Little Egrets in the field again, and this time I managed to get a slightly better photo.

Little Egret

And lastly, a trip to the Country Park wouldn’t be complete without a photo of Max in the stream.

Max

This time, though, I kept him in the shallower part.

A year ago today

Max was in another stream – this time on Canford Heath.

Max in the stream