National Trust Purbeck Wildlife


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Recent wildlife sightings

The Rees Cox hide was the place to be with daily sightings of both water vole and kingfisher for a spell mid-month. The water vole was very active, repeatedly swimming out from the bank beneath the hide, chewing through a green reed stem then carrying it back to the bank. At the same time, a kingfisher regularly used a perch beside the hide to dive from and, whenever successful, flew by under the noses of the watchers in the hide, carrying its catch to a more distant lakeside tree.
Rare migrants usually grab the birdwatching headlines this month but don’t overlook the mass movements of common species. For example, on the morning of the 16th September, a local birder counted 2000 siskin, 1200 swallows and 300 meadow pipits flying over Shell Bay in just two hours.

image from northeastwildlife.co.uk

image from northeastwildlife.co.uk

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Birding Brands Bay

redshankCheck in to the Brands Bay hide this month, as the falling tide exposes the mud, and you’ll be well entertained. Ducks and waders that have nested in northern latitudes arrive for the winter and, together with the residents, make a great show. Look for black-tailed godwit, dunlin and grey plover, some still in summer plumage. Whimbrel, greenshank and common sandpiper are ‘passing through’, all with distinctive calls that are easy to learn. Shelduck, pintail, wigeon and teal sift the mud for small snails or graze the vegetation and Brent geese will be back before the month’s end.

But don’t overlook the regular, everyday species. Redshanks for example are full of character; restless, bossy and bold. Their loud, piping alarm calls alert other birds of potential threats earning them the name ‘Sentinel of the Marsh’.