Monday, 19 January 2009

Spring Comes Flooding in

Thought I'd do a bit of a photo-Blog for a change. This weekend began well, fell apart with a spectacular bang on Saturday evening and then picked itself up nicely yesterday.

After the storms had crossed over on Saturday evening, it looked wonderfully spring like out there. How wrong could I have been. Popping down to the Somerset Levels to do a spot of wildlife watching, it became evident that everywhere was flooded, many roads too. So I rang a friend and we met up for a walk along the North Dorset Trailway. Until recently I spent every weekend in North Dorset so this used to be a regular walk for me. But since August and splitting up with Thelma, I'd not been back. So very nice to revisit of an old stomping ground.
But as you can see from the following photos, and video, it was a bit wet !!
On the drive to the Trailway the River Stour had burst it's banks at King's Mill
Ahhahh it's good to be back in Dorset.... even if my sartorial elegance isn't obvious. This is a repeat of a photo last June in warmer weather - see here.
Just because it was an arty shot.
In drier times, one can walk to this style and along the riverbank, a haven for Otter, Kingfisher and Banded Damoiselle
Where this tree is, is the bank. In the summer the river is usually 10 feet below here
We took a detour off the Trailway and walked to Fiddleford Mill. I'm so glad we did, otherwise we'd not have spied these snowdrops, They were a bit battered after the flood, but a welcome sign of the coming spring
Water pounding through the mill race
Another arty shot, an old door. Taken because of the colours
I was surprised there were so few birds about taking advantage of the flooding. Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon and Buzzard were common, as were Fieldfare and Redwing. smattering of Great, blue and Long-Tailed Tit, and a couple of lovely male Bullfinches at Fiddleford. Dunnock, Robin and Blackbird but no waders, and apart from this Kestrel on a post in the floodwater, nothing else of note.
But the sun began to set and time to go home. The fence is where the riverbank normally is, and where the Kestrel was, on the bend.
Finally a video taken from the sluice gates at Fiddleford Mill on my camera of the flooding. Where these people are walking is the higher river bank. about a 20 foot drop to the river below. hopefully they knew what they were doing.
Finally on the way home, just to revisit old haunts, we popped up to Bulbarrow Hill. It was good to be back there, made all the more so by the 4 Ravens seen tumbling and playing the wind. I'm going to have to move down there, much too good a place to avoid. No wonder Thomas Hardy wrote such descriptive novels.... now then Tess, is that job still going as Mayor of Casterbridge?


  1. Great post because I feel at home there! I'm very jealous that you saw Bullfinches, I shall go and loiter around Fiddleford soon to see if I can see them.
    I didn't realise the flooding was so great, it didn't seem that much rain...but maybe I slept through it!
    Thanks for the info on linking stuff, I have managed to link other stuff but not from my own blog...I will try again.

  2. Should have popped in for tea! You can see my house from Bulbarrow, we spend quite a bit of time up there, it's wodnerful, if a bit spooky at Rawlesbury camp. Spectacular on a clear day, fighter jets not withstanding..........

  3. I thought it was wet here in kent! I enjoyed your photo's today, especially the snapshot of last summer!

  4. Hi Goosey, thought you'd like this posing. Actually I saw a couple walking towards me and the man looked a bit like your husband, I did wonder?? For the Bullfinches 1 was near the Mill the other where the track leaves the road and towards the trailway (the Bridalway).

    Hi MrsL - I didn't know you were in Bulbarrow area (I used to be in Stalbridge), I'll pop in next time, do you do a proper Dorset Cream Tea too??

    Hi Warren, it was fun to revisit the June posting, and see the difference.

  5. this is hopeless, I should read my postings...of course it's bridleway, not bridalway Goosey

  6. Some beautiful pictures there Andrew and you look very much "The Lord of the Manor" so hopefully Casterbridge's vacancy still exists!

    I agree with you about Dorset - a great county IMHO!

    I'm trying to decide where to take Mum for our week's hols this year - now Somerset.....

  7. Actually Tricia, I like Somerset too, runs a close second to Dorset. Quite an interesting county Somerset as the range of things to see and areas to visit is huge, especially if one includes the old county boundary, now North Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset. Hope you find somewhere.

  8. The Stour runs on the boundary of Corfe Mullen where I live. I didn't realise it was so high (I'm sure it isn't in flood here). I was supposed to go otter poo hunting last Sunday but we had to postpone as all the poo would have been washed away with that awful weather on Saturday. Trying again this Sunday. Fiddleford looks lovely ... I've never stopped and walked here (but will now). Bulbarrow is a favourite of mine. Great "hare" watching nearby as well! So, if you move to Dorset does that mean you will have to become a trusty of DWT as well??? :) Jane

  9. That should have been "trustee"... but "trusty" sounds good as well!

  10. Aye it's a good part of Dorset up there Jane, we're a funny breed us wildlife watchers, fancy spending a saturday hunting for poo... I used to have a collection of Spraints in the office, didn't go down that well when entertaining a lady.

    You never know about the DWT... if they'd be daft enough to have me, ha ha

  11. Great shots Andrew. Enjoyed the video as well. Lovely to see the snowdrops this time of year. I'm envious!

  12. Beautiful photos - thanks so much for sharing your walk (it means a lot to someone trapped at home in London!)

  13. Ahhahh i'm sure it's not that cold over there Oldcrow.

    Nice to have you pop by Hedgewitch, long time since I've seen your name appear from the big smoke. I like your cards by the way.

  14. Love the pictures Andrew - I must admit I don't know Dorset as well as other parts of the UK but definitely worth a visit sometime! We've had SO much rain this last 4 days we've got fields all under water and our little bridge is swamped too... the forecast is looking more promising this week which is good so am hoping to get out in the garden... have you been up to Folly Farm recently? Take care Miranda

  15. Andrew - sorry me again - I meant to ask if you got to see the beautiful owl that took up residence in the University of Bristol Gardens - they showed some lovely film on Points West about a week ago now I think? Miranda

  16. Hi Miranda, yes I've seen the Eagle Owl at the University, seems quite content with life there. Intersting it's chosen the Biological Sciences building to make its home. Great priveledge to see it so close, it is absolutely huge.

    You'd love Dorset, many a fine garden to visit.

  17. Glad the Eagle Owl is still in situ - have they discovered where he goes as yet at night? Is there a "Mrs" Owl??

    As well as all the great gardens in Dorset - the rolling countryside looks great - something I miss when in France as it's vaguely undulating - nothing like being in the hills on the west coast of Scotland! Something to look forward to when I come back to the UK! Have a good week Miranda