Spring arrived in mid-Dorset last week. On Tuesday evening, swallows appeared for for the first time. On Wednesday, they were joined by housemartins. That evening, the unmistakable sound of an attempted break-in at the back of the house turned out to be a male partridge landing on, and strutting round, a corrugated roof. His mate then set off a security light, to her great surprise. Last year they raised 13 chicks. On Saturday morning, I was fishing for wild and wily brown trout, when a sandpiper flew up from the water’s edge. Plenty of people have been posting lovely Spring pictures. I certainly can’t beat them, but I’ll join them with a few photos from the last few days.

Buds are burstingDorset Spring 2Dorset Spring 1The partridges are back, and other birds are out in forceDorset Spring 15Dorset Spring 19  Dorset Spring 3

The spring flowers are at their best Dorset Spring 7Dorset Spring 4Dorset Spring 10Dorset Spring 13Dorset Spring 16

Baby blackbirds are already fledgingDorset Spring 17

The rooks are pairing up, and nesting in the oaksDorset Spring 12Dorset Spring 8

The alpacas are enjoying fresh grass and the warmth of the sun (attractive they may be, and useful mowers, but they were looking the wrong way when brains were being handed out to the animal kingdom)Dorset Spring 6Dorset Spring 9

Other seasonal woolly creatures are out and about in the nearby fieldsSpring 2013 1Spring 2013 2

The river is full and running clear   Dorset Spring 5

A sure sign of spring – the first hotair balloon passes overheadSpring Balloon

A blazing sunset to end the day…    Dorset Spring 23

…and an early spring moon bright in the sky the following afternoonDorset Spring 24


TWO PARTRIDGES have taken to regular visiting quite close to the house – especially when the feeders have been filled. They come for a peck around every morning and evening, and burble quietly to each other as they feed. Yet again I missed them when the window was open, and have had to take photographs through glass, so their wonderful markings are not pin-sharp. The female is slightly paler than the male. I tried sneaking up on them, but they are very wary of being papped…