Thursday 28 May 2015

Durlston trip

I recently lead a trip to Durlston Country Park, the weather forecast showed the country covered in sunshine, oddly though Swanage was cloudy. This turned out to be sea fog that had rolled in due to the warm air and cool seas.

This of course did not dampen our spirits as we concentrated on bird ID by song and call as well as looking at the many plants to be seen here at this time of year. We were able to compare a number of warbler species including blackcap, willow warbler, chiffchaff and whitethroat. We were able to also compare a number of other species including blackbird, robin, wren, dunnock and a very loud song thrush. 

As we worked our way through the scrub linnet, stonechat and meadow pipit were heard and seen. But the stars of the show were the orchids; early purple, early spider and green-winged. Here are some photos taken on a sunnier day at the same site.

Early spider orchid
Early purple orchid


Green-winged orchid

After a spot of lunch in the castle, we carried on to look at the seabirds nesting on the cliffs. The fog lifted a little, so we were able to see various species including guillemot, razorbill, cormorant, shag and fulmar. We were lucky enough to see a young raven on one of its first trips away from the nest, working out what its wings and legs were really for as it stumbled along the cliff edge. We also had great views of a female kestrel who had decided it was not a day for hunting, more of a day for relaxing on the cliffs.


 A very enjoyable day, finished off with a lesser whitethroat calling from the scrub by the car park - great stuff! (NA)

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