Lulworth Wildlife Update: July 201625 Jul 2016
Over the past month wildlife sightings have been very typically summer orientated. At this time of year, most avian species are rearing young and holding territories. That said, we’ve recorded a few swift leaving our shores and heading back south across the channel. Swift are typically some of the last to arrive and first to leave so seeing a few heading off already isn’t unexpected. They are most likely to be failed breeders. The colony in West Lulworth are still zipping about, keep your eyes peeled just up the road from the Castle Inn.
Out on Coombe Heath, lesser bladderwort is in flower. Lesser bladderwort is a member of the Lentibulariaceae, which is one of the nine carnivorous plant families. The traps used by bladderworts to catch their prey perform one of the quickest known movements of any plant family, closing in around 0.002 seconds.
It’s been a good year for orchid species, with heath spotted, common spotted, pyramidal and bee all producing dazzling displays across a wide variety of habitats.
On Coombe Heath, the survey team (Hannah and Alex) were introduced to reptile survey techniques. Joined by a licenced expert on snakes, we enjoyed fine views of Britain’s rarest reptile, smooth snake. Unless you are a licenced expert, you should never handle snakes. Adders can give a potent bite but will only do so if provoked.
We have been awash with butterflies on sunny days. The most recent additions to the year’s list involve gatekeeper, dark green fritillary, marbled white and Lulworth skipper.
It is a true privilege to be able to show many school visits the wide ranging wildlife here at Lulworth, much of which we come across on our guided walks and talks around the area. Just this week a group were treated to views of a peregrine carrying off its pigeon lunch and then the day later another group saw three peregrine spiralling around in the mist on top of Hambury Tout.