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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An idyllic afternoon at Little Sea

Carp cruising around the lily pads; a singing chiffchaff away on the far bank; a four-spotted chaser perched on a reed stem just three feet away and black-tailed skimmers too. Two cormorants and a grey heron are just visible but then a handsome great-crested grebe appears out of nowhere, collects a floating reed stem and swims off again. Six house martins swoop low over the surface, catching flies in the warm sunshine and a swift powers by at height. My attention is drawn to a delicate wake coming this way and a grass snake undulates across the lake to the near bank, somehow keeping its head above water.
And not a soul to be seen; only a distant dogs’ bark and the faintest of shouts from the beach to indicate a human presence. Perfect.

View from the hide

View from the hide