Thursday, 28 April 2016

Durlston to Dancing Ledge coast path 20/4/16 -

A superb 5 mile coast path walk from Durlston Head to Dancing Ledge and back over the top path fields and meadows.  A Glorious sunny day but with a gale force wind.  Our mission was to find the Early Spider Orchid and the fields didn't disappoint the rough grassland had hundreds of them. A beautiful orchid which lived up to its name and looked just like a spider complete with eyes.
We had some great views of Guillemot, Razorbill and Fulmar from the cliff top near the castle info centre as well as gulls and Raven flying overhead.  A male and female Peregrine were seen at regular intervals along the coast path and again we had some great views.  The top meadows towards Durlston were filled with Cowslips an amazing sight.  These meadows were roped off as the location is ideal for nesting Skylarks.  The combination of the Skylarks melody and the thousands of Cowlips was just magic.  As we approached the end of our walk we were rewarded with a beautiful male Redstart flitting round the scrub, fantastic to see but impossible to photo!
Key species for the day were Fulmar, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kestrel, Raven, Peregrine, Stonechat, Linnet, Rock Pipit, Whitethroat, Skylark, Redstart, Gannet, Wheatear, Yellowhammer.  Not forgetting the Early Spider Orchid and a Spotted Bee-fly.

  Guillemots from the cliff top

                  Fulmar looking graceful even in the gale force wind


                   Guillemots and rough seas

   Guillemots and a Razorbill




   Early Spider Orchid


                   Really looks like a spider!


                   So over the moon to see these beautiful orchids in their hundreds

   Stunning views along the coast path


   Oil beetle

                   Small Tortoishell

   I know there is pollen in there some where

                    'Pollen fly'

   Spotted Bee-fly

                   So pleased to find this Spotted Bee-fly

   Cowslip meadows - cowslips as far as the eye could see and fields for Skylarks

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