National Trust Purbeck Wildlife

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Six of the Best

Heath tiger beetle by Bryan Edwards

Head for the heath this month for a chance of seeing hobbies, a small falcon that looks like a giant swift hunting dragonflies and swallows in high speed chases.  Stay on to dusk and you’ll hear nightjars churring and with luck, see one in its strange, mechanical flight, silhouetted against the darkening sky.

In damp, boggy areas, cross-leaved heath, the prettiest of the common heathers, is showing clusters of pale pink flowers and where there are areas of bare ground or very short heather, look out for the lovely silver-studded blue butterfly.

Sand lizards are widespread on the dry, sandy parts of the heathland and this is also the place to look for heath tiger beetles, a charcoal-black beetle with distinctive yellow markings.  This is a nationally scarce and endangered species so please let us know the date and location of any sightings.