Wednesday, 20 July 2011

isle of wight day 2-killing time in the rain

Awoke this morning to the sound of rain against the orning. Not the start I had hoped for, but It did mean that I didn't have to go to the dinosaur museum on a sunny day, so that's where I would be going today. My Family had decided to go to the tank museum, leaving me to get to Sandown Via bus.
I was in for a treat though, as i headed to the toilet block to brush my teeth, I found a pair of cute baby goldcrests in a nearby pine tree. I ran back to the caravan for the camera, but sadly poor light and fidgety birds meant that I couldn't really get the photos I had wanted.

-Baby Goldcrest
After breakfast I headed for the bus stop. I had decided that I would be buying a weekly ticket, because I thought that I would be using quite a few buses over the week. I managed it OK and headed off towards Sandown to the dinosaur museum. The museum-called dinowight was built recently and is well furnished with various fossils and plastic models explaining the basics of paleofauna on the island.
As I was approaching the museum I spotted a male linnet on the grassy roadside, which surprised me as it was on the outskirts of Sandown, one of the more tourist towns on the island, and not where you would expect to find a farmland finch.
I managed a few photos, but once more the poor light was causing a bit of a problem for my camera, but I managed a few shots.

-Male Linnet
Inside the building I was disappointed to find that nothing had really changed, although they were putting up a new pterosaur display when I was there, the models were still top draw and the range of fossils on display were good too.


-plesiosaur leptoclidus



It was about 11 o'clock when I finished there, and with the rain still limiting my wildlife options I had no idea what I was going to do next. I decided to go to the bus stops and catch the next bus that came, that was a number 7 to Ventnor. When I got to Ventnor I decided to go and have a look at rew down nature reserve. I knew that the adonis blues were not going to be flying about, but another species found at the site is the pyramidal Orchid, the isle of wights national flower, because after all, flowers don't exactly run away in the rain. This time i had my map, and i had a look, so i actually knew what i was doing this time, and I found it without much bother.

The site was little more than a very large field, but at the end with the entrance there were loads of flowers. There were cornflowers and scabious as well as what I figured must be the pyramidal orchids, as well as others that I didn't recognise.

-pyramidal Orchid

-purple cornflower


-pyramidal orchid

I walked around the site several times, secretly hoping to flush an adonis blue out of the long grass, sadly though it didn't happen. I did however find a sheltering marbled white, for the second day running, and this one allowed me to get some photos in a more natural position. It was sheltering under some ragwort but was nice to see, allowing me to get a good view of the marbling pattern from the outside.

-Marbled white

It's handy that the wight bus service produces a leaflet that tells you all the bus times, so I knew when I had a bus back to Newport, from where I could get a bus home. It was only when I arrived in Newport that I learned that my bus home was 45mins away. That left me stuck! I decided to head to shide chalk pit, a disused quarry now acting as a butterfly site, so that I could get a feel for it should I return on a sunny day when there may actually be butterflies there

It took me about 15 mins to get there but I was very impressed when I did-the quarry was a very impressive feature and I spent a few minuets taking in the scenery before i did a quick scout round.

It said on the sign that there were bee orchids here, something i had not been aware of until that point, but sadly I failed to find one, although I was very pushed for time. There were also apparently rare bats in the railway tunnel there, Neither of these things I found in my 10min scout round but i did find a few more pyramidal orchids.

-Pyramidal Orchids

I made it back for my bus, although it was very crowded, and made it back to the caravan OK, so a good day considering the lack of options due to the weather and the fact that I had no idea where any of the stops were!

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