Wildlife Spotters – September25 Sep 2016
As autumn creeps in, so too do many arachnids. An annual event, we see many different species make their way into our homes. Most species can be moved on (preferably outside) without too much hassle.
The inexorable heat which has dominated early September’s weather has certainly helped many of our common species of butterfly. Beneficial species have included painted lady, small tortoiseshell red admiral, speckled wood, comma, small heath and even grayling. After a noted absence, clouded yellow have appeared during these latter stages of summer. Individuals seen at Stair Hole, Fossil Forest Bindon Hill, Bindon Lane and Lulworth Cove beach are of note. Green-veined white and Small copper have been reported in East and West Lulworth, a blue aberration female was noted as part of the small colony in East, not uncommon, but noteworthy at least. Also of note in East Lulworth, was a Southern Hawker dragonfly.
Murmurings of a wryneck were heard in the area around mid-September, but with information seriously lacking, identification was never confirmed. There was also a report of a greenish warbler at Lulworth Camp. This bird has a range from eastern Germany through to Thailand, so it was well off course! At Durdle Door, a small party of spotted flycatcher were seen, living up to their name along with several chiffchaff.
At Cockles, East Lulworth a passing hobby was seen harassing some of the remaining swallows, only to be warded off by a gutsy jackdaw. Another spotted flycatcher is of note there too, making quick forays from its perch in a yew tree, to its unsuspecting prey.
On the approaches to Mupe Bay, three whinchat were loosely integrating with the stonechat there. Also of note there were three dartford warbler and singles of whitethroat and blackcap.
On hawthorns around the back of Hambury Tout, a female redstart was seen, passing through our area on migration.
At Hambury Farm and on the Wool water meadows flocks of up to 60 yellow wagtails have been recorded, and is an impressive count. A summer visitor from March to September, yellow wagtails can be found around cattle and horses, feeding on invertebrates, such as flies and beetles that the livestock disturb with their hooves. As the name suggests, wagtails constantly wag their tails. Some theories for this include a sign of submission to other wagtails, a signal of vigilance to potential predators and a way to flush prey.
What have you spotted at Lulworth? Let the Rangers know by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see your photos too!