National Trust Purbeck Wildlife

Old Harry’s birds

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Old Harry archI’ve often noticed that coastal birds are much less likely to be disturbed by an approach from the sea. And so it proved on a recent guided kayak tour around Old Harry Rocks. The ever-present oystercatchers, cormorants and Mediterranean gulls sat and watched as we sailed by and the common sandpipers that pass through on migration flitted ahead from cove to cove. An eider on the sea was a surprise at this time of year and it was interesting to see cliff-nesting house martins.
But best of all was a group of four screeching peregrines, an adult and three recently fledged young, flying between various perches above us while another youngster dismembered a freshly-killed pigeon on the shoreline just a few metres from a very appreciative water-bound audience.

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Author: Kevin Rideout

National Trust Visitor Experience Officer based at Studland

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