Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Dorset Holiday-Day 3: Ringstead Beach

As has been the case since we got here, the weather has been extraordinary, so once more my family headed out onto the beach. Today I went with them, to a beach name Ringstead. At first when we had come down my family just sat on the shingled beach near to the car park. I had a bit of a wander around the scrub near the beach and heard a Reed Warbler in the bushes. After a while I managed to spot the bird hidden among the reeds, but it took a bit of maneuvering before I was able to take a record shot.
-Reed Warbler
While my family went out on our canoes I headed up onto the cliff tops to have a look at what was going on up there. I have to say it was not mind blowing but there was some nice stuff, like this Common Buzzard
-Common Buzzard
Moving through the fields I also flushed a Yellowhammer and a Linnet, both nice birds, and then I found the path again and was able to actually work out where I was. There were plenty of hedgerow butterflies; Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Large White and also Large Skipper
-Large Skipper
Up on the cliff top the habitat became more open and the types of butterflies changed. I should say at this point that I was looking for a Lulworth Skipper to add to my new species list, but did not really know what one looked like, except that it was not just one shade of orange as in Small and Essex Skippers. 
The types of butterflies on the top included Common Blue, Large Skipper, Marbled White and also Six Spot Burnet Moth 
Marbled white was a nice treat, the first I have seen since the trip to the Isle of Wight. Having said that, the real show stealer here was the view, because of the clear weather you could see right out to Portland Bill and beyond. 
-View over Ringstead Beach
The next picture is of a Large Skipper, but for the whole holiday I have believed it to be a Lulworth. Its not a Lulworth, as Lulworths have orange antenna tips and limited patterning on the underside. Its a bitter blow to Google something for it to show that its not what you thought it was. 
-Large Skipper
I then decided to forsake the cliff top path and descend the cliff where there was not a sheer drop, to explore the shrubbery below. Needless to say, I will not give a full account of my descent as it turned out to be quite pointless and very painful, with the limited "path" I had chosen to follow leading me into various spikey plants on steep cliff sides. I did however, see more Large Skippers, which I photographed in case they were Lulworths
-Large Skipper
Once I made it to the bottom, scratched, annoyed, I discovered to my dismay that I would have to go through more spikey plants to reach the beach, where I decided I would walk back on. Through the various spikey plants I continued to find only things which I had seen up on the top, including this Ringlet
On the bird front I spotted a lovely singing male Stonechat perched atop one of the spikey plants. I was not really able to get close, even if I had wanted to, as it would meant leaving the "path", and that would probably end up in me being impaled upon something nasty.
Once I finally made it back to the beach I met up with my Family and we spent the rest of the day on the beach. We then headed into Weymouth for fish and chips, where upon I absolutely owned at I-Spy, (as usual) and we saw Carrion Crow, Common Tern and Herring Gull
It was twilight when we got back, but there was a hawker dragonfly hunting on the caravan site road. I got out to try and take some photos for identification purposes. I managed to get a few, but it required flash due to the low light. From my photos though I was able to note that it was a Southern Hawker, which is a new dragonfly for the holiday.
-Southern Hawker
So that was that, and so finished our third day down in Dorset. If we keep up like this I should well reach my holiday targets.

No comments:

Post a Comment