Isle of Wight

Wildlife spotting and a stormy Isle of Wight

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Mrs F and I in a stroke of brilliant planning decided to plan a last minute holiday to the Isle of Wight on the Monday of the storm! I know, you couldn’t make that up! We literally were on the ferry between Portsmouth and Fishbourne as the storm, according to the ferry captain, announced “Imogen” was currently gusting to Force 10. At the risk of giving the impression that myself, Tracey and our canine travelling companions are maritime heroes, the crossing was extraordinarily good? Perhaps the skill of the the captain combined with the fact that the storm seem to flatten the waves in the Solent?  Who knows but I’ve been on far worse English Channel crossings in far less windier conditions – I’m not complaining for one second. The storm caused havoc along the South Coast and high waves battered the seafront at Portsmouth so we were extremely relieved to dock at Fishbourne on time.

I’ve added a beautiful photo of the tail end of the storm taken on my phone from the car, parked on the cliff tops overlooking Bonchurch.

Isle of Wight

Our base for the week was a lovely modern cottage forming part of a harbour development, where dogs were welcome and I love this photo of Toby and Ellie eyeing up an early lunch through the low kitchen window.

looking at ducks

Although the storm had pretty much subsided by the following morning, the weather wasn’t great but that didn’t stop us discovering some stunning scenery that the island offers.

As a wildlife nerd, it was a treat for me to see road signs warning of red squirrels for the first time! The warning being not to run them over rather than the threat of an impending attack! Sadly we don’t have red squirrels on the Southern mainland anymore, but thankfully they are still clinging on in the Isle of Wight and Poole Harbour islands. I love to see the grey squirrels in our garden (so does Ellie!) it’s not their fault they were introduced from America by the Victorians, but I think the red is much prettier and graceful and is our indigenous British squirrel – I remember “Tufty” and “Squirrel Nutkin”.

I didn’t see any Reds last week, but I’m planning a photography trip to Brownsea Island this summer so fingers crossed.

A little closer to home I was walking the dogs around a lake near us and spotted this heron. I just managed to fire off a burst of photos as he/she took to the air – I think this is the best shot with the bright sun shining through his wings and beak and the water drops behind.

heron

I’ll be blogging again later this week with some of my favourite gardening tools so until then stay out of the wind and watch out for squirrels!

Dale x

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