Back in the depths of last Winter , when it was cold and damp , I planned a Spring visit to the Purbeck Hills in Dorset , an area that I have always wanted to visit . With reptiles and migrant birds on the 'want list' , I booked a b&b for Carol and myself at Corfe Castle , not actually in the castle but in the village that bears the same name , right in the middle of the area . After last year's incredible Spring , I went for the beginning of May , envisaging wall to wall sunshine and Mediterranean temperatures . We all know what the second half of April was like , and as last weekend approached , my dreams seemed to be in tatters as wind , rain and cool temperatures were the order of the day . It came as some surprise as we prepared to set out that the sun was actually shining , but accompanied by a very cool wind , but at least it wasn't raining , but the forecast for our four days was not encouraging . We arrived in the area still in sunshine , so I decided to make the most of the conditions and headed for RSPB Arne . It was obvious straight away that the deluges of rain recently had not escaped the area , and although the reserve is on sand and well draining under usual conditions , large puddles of water covered many of the trails and heathland areas off the main trails were also flooded . Leaving Carol with her book in the car park , I set off for a look around , with Dartford Warbler on top of my list . One of the main centres of interest , the pond where Raft Spiders can usually be found , had burst it's banks and was now just part of a flooded heathland and unapproachable , unless you happened to be wearing waders . Looking over the area of the heathland trail , I couldn't see anyone else about , and when the trail opened out , the reason became apparent , as an almost bitter wind was blowing in off the sea , ensuring that any birds were sheltering . Every
The morning dawned bright and not too windy , so after breakfast I couldn't wait to get to Durlston Country Park , on the cliffs near Swanage . Plenty of gulls about , a male Kestrel passed under me , no more than 5 metres away , but I wasn't ready for him and he was gone . Jackdaws seemed to be
The forecast wasn't good for the next two days , so it was back to finger crossing .
I'll write those two days up tomorrow / Monday .
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