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Wildlife - June

Wildflowers abound in the meadows, Pale Flax and Common Vetch earlier in the month, leading into the beautiful Bee Orchid, the vivid pink Grass Vetchling,  white Ox-eye Daisies and the yellow blooms of Agrimony, Meadow Vetchling and Hayrattle.

On sunny days butterflies like Adonis, Small  and Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Walls and Small Heaths visit the  flowers for nectar. Dingy and Grizzled Skippers are joined by Large Skippers in sunny hollows where Green Hairstreaks, Brown Argus, Small Coppers may also be found. Cocoons of the 6-spot Burnet moths can also  be seen - the red and black adults emerging late in June.

Yellowhammers still sing their sleepy 'Little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese' and Skylarks pour out their vocal extravagances from high above. The  chicks of Stonechats, Linnets and other birds make unfamiliar calls as they beg for food.

Cliff-nesting birds, like the Shags, Guillemot and Razorbill have eggs or hungry chicks to feed and may be seen flying in with beaks full of fish. Further offshore, Gannets and Manx Shearwaters are often spotted,  especially in the evening when tiny Storm Petrels may also be seen. Look out for the newly-fledged young of local Peregrines and Ravens. 

Keep watch, as well, for the tell-tale dorsal fins of Bottle-nosed  Dolphins.

Along the cliff-tops, Sea Campion, Horseshoe Vetch, Thrift  (Sea Pink) often carpets the ground, but the rare Carrot Broomrape and  the local Portland Spurge are less easy to spot. Good views of Foxes and Kestrels can often be had near Tilly Whim. Activity increases as the cold-blooded Common Lizards and Adders warm in the higher  temperatures.

Woodland birds are still in good voice with the lovely fluty warble of the Blackcap and the monotonous notes of the aptly-named Chiffchaff  particularly noticeable. Other birds have fledged, and noisy family parties of Treecreepers and Marsh Tits may attract attention.

Overhead Swifts, Martins and Swallows feed on the rich crop of flying insects. Down in Durlston Bay, fishing Sandwich Terns can be seen and heard -  their harsh, grating calls readily identified.

Speckled Woods and Orange Tips share sunny woodland glades with colourful hoverflies and red Cardinal Beetles.

At night, Pipistrelles, Noctules and other bats, hawk for moths, while shy Roe Deer and Badgers forage.

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ZoomClick images for larger versions:
Bee Orchid in the Meadow
Bee Orchids. Photo: Dom Greves

Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue. Photo: Dom Greves

Guillemot
Guillemot. Photo: Simon Kidner