Bit like the Holy Grail for me, these rare warblers have eluded me every time I've been in Dorset heathland. Today there it was, just below a viewpoint carpark (I'll not say exactly where but if you wish to know, e-mail me), the same viewpoint that 4 years ago produced a plethora of Crossbills out of nowhere. Good spot for Nightjars too, so out with the white hankie and ready to attract them one summers evening.
Back to the Dartford Warbler. We'd stopped at this viewpoint, really just to have a look at the err....view! Quite a few Linnet were whooping back n forth so wiled away a few moments watching then. Then out of the corner of my eye, a bird flew from some gorse. A weak waffly flight, long tail small body. Something told me to follow. And there it was. 20 feet away. I didn't have the camera so walked back to the car hoping it would be with me on my return. And it was, both male and female... I think, certainly these 2 were slightly different. One cracking view in the bins I could see insects in it's beak... surely not feeding young already. Anyway fired off 20 or so photos in the hope some would at least show the bird, proof, if proof were needed. I've cropped and added the best 2 below. Not marvelous, but for hand held in the heat of the moment, they serve their purpose. Even managed a 10 second video on the compact. I'll treasure that, and I hope you like these.
The one above is the male, speckled upper breast. Not sure if the others are male or female, didn't take much time to make notes... I know, I know!!
Next two below are a bit rubbish, but again for proof really. Click to enlarge
Below, Gorse in full bloom..... everywhere.
Bluebells now in the hedgerows
Sydling St Nicholas chalk stream, clear as clear water.
Into Cerne Abbas from Sydling St Nicholas, Giant on hill mid ground
And the Giant itself... just to it's left as you look at it you may make out the outline of Homer Simpson. This was painted on the hill, for a bit of fun, last year, and although the paint has long gone, the grass is still showing Homer and his "Donut" (click to enlarge)