A bit of information about the Western Palearctic and the places we’ve visited within the region …..

'a glossary of terms' (opens in new window)
Western Palearctic

The largest of the world’s eight ecozones, the Palearctic is predominately a temperate region encompassing Europe, Asia north of the Himalaya foothills, North Africa, and the northern and central parts of the Arabian peninsula. The region is bordered by the tundra and the taiga (boreal forest) in the north, and the north African deserts (Atlantic, Saharan and Arabian) in the south. The region is enormous with many different wildlife habitats and, therefore, is often split down for various description and categorisation purposes into sub-regions such as the Mediterranean basin, Eurasia, Euro-Siberia, Western and Central Asia, and the Saharan and Arabian deserts.

This total land mass is simply too vast for my requirements and, therefore, I’ve concentrated information to just the relevant portion that covers the UK, Europe and North Africa, commonly known as the Western Palearctic.

Western PalearcticStepMap

Whilst we’ve travelled to various countries in mainland Europe plus a couple of the islands in the Mediterranean or off north west Africa, and over to Egypt, none of those trips have been specifically for wildlife photography and, therefore, are not included.

Click on the following place names to access associated destination information.

Extremadura, Spain
Romania - Danube Delta
Kuusamo, Finland
South West Iceland
Morocco - High Atlas Mountains

UK destinations of specific interest, such as the Farne Islands, and the Isle of Mull and Cairngorms in Scotland are shown on the following map :-

UK locations mapStepMap

The final map below shows my 'home patch' of Dorset and the New Forest where I've indicated some of the places and/or general areas that I regularly visit. Having said that though, I've completely neglected the north and west of the county and really need to spend some time exploring a bit further afield. There are so many places that we've never visited as we always tend to gravitate to the same old popular areas. I'm also conscious that there are some good wildlife sites in neighbouring counties that should be on the list.

In time I'd like to develop this local 'home patch' section a bit further to include a personal check list of birds seen and photographed at each location. A simple species list cross-referenced to location and time of year could be very useful, but in the meantime I've shown the main places and/or areas that I currently visit underneath the map.

Dorset homepatchStepMap

My local list broadly breaks down into seven general areas :-
  • East Dorset & Hampshire Avon - Moors Valley Country Park, Holt Heath, Longham Lakes, Blashford Lakes
  • Cranborne Chase - Martin Down, local farmland, River Stour, Blandford
  • New Forest - Linford Bottom, Fritham plain and ponds, Bolderwood, Acres Down, Rhinefield, Beaulieu Heath, Brokenhurst
  • Christchurch to Lymington - Hengistbury Head, Stanpit Marsh, Keyhaven & Pennington Marshes
  • Wareham area - Morden Bog, Swineham and Wareham Watermeadows, RSPB Arne, Middlebere, Higher Hyde Heath
  • Weymouth & Portland - Lodmoor NR, Radipole Lake, Ferrybridge, Portland Harbour, Portland