Friday, 31 March 2017

Brownsea Island

The landing at Brownsea

Our friends Dave and Chris have just arrived for a weekend visit and it turns out they have never been to Brownsea, so we head off down to Poole Quay and take the ferry to make a quick late afternoon visit.

On the approach we marvel at the size of the lagoon. Reclaimed as pasture in the 1850s, the lagoon was allowed to flood in the 1930s becoming a non-tidal brackish water lagoon offering a sanctuary to a vast number of birds.

We decided to head for the Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve and Dave, having wisely brought his binoculars, unlike me, had a field day with the birds including Avocet, Curlew, Jack Snipe, Godwit ....

I did get a nice picture of a colourful Shelduck, with the bonus of an un-noticed Mediterranean Duck, a new one for me.

We walked back past the church of St Mary (1853-4) although many of the fittings are older, having been brought there from elsewhere. Pevsner is very disapproving: "The church is interesting not as a building, but as a museum." A bit harsh.

Beyond the church is a large grassy area where there was a large (about 20) flock of peacocks. A fine sight.

I enjoyed this close-up of one of the two males.

On the far side we followed a path towards the cliffs, passing a large area of daffodils which had leaves, but no flowers: they are known as "blind".

From the cliff there was a great view across Poole Harbour to South Haven Point.

And that was it. Time had run out and the last ferry was due, so we had to limit our visit to a small corner of the island. But it was still great.

Conditions: bright but cool.

Distance: maybe a mile.

Rating: four stars. A short but excellent walk.

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