DIARY: My diary (starting from the beginning of June - too late for the previous 14 years!)

  • The date and where we went
  • Some highlights of what we saw
  • Some photographs I took


Displaying 1 - 28 of 28
Date Location Today's Photo Notes
06-08-20 Corfe Meadows corfe meadows

Not the best time of year to visit the Corfe Meadows SSSI:

  • All the meadows have been cut for hay now
  • Everywhere is baked dry and plants are struggling to survive
  • Still a lot of flowers along the river'd edge though
05-08-20 Arne Nature Reserve arne

The woodland disabled car park is open again so we were able to take advantage of it today:

  • I have never seen the water level in the 'dragonfly' ponds so low
  • Very few insects about again despite plenty of flowers
  • Found a new cluster of Dorset heath by the ponds
04-08-20 Hethfelton Wood hethfelton wood

It seemed a while since we went to Hethfelton Wood so we decided to put that right today:

  • The main path is lined with flowers on both sides even in August
  • The spotted longhorn beetle, the bog hoverfly and the greater parasitic fly were good to see
  • I have never seen the large patch of hairy St John's-wort here before
03-08-20 Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve stoborough heath

Another bright and breezy afternoon so off to Stoborough Heath:

  • We walked the higher area of dry heath/acid grassland mosaic
  • Lots of gatekeepers but no other significant insects
  • Surprised at how compact rush is so frequent here rather than soft rush
31-07-20 Bere Wood bere wood

A very hot afternoon so we made for the shade in Bere Wood:

  • I am amazed I have never noticed this avenue of beech trees in the middle of the wood before
  • Lots of gatekeepers on the brambles although the bramble flowers are nearly over now
  • We did not see or hear a single bird again ...


29-07-20 Middlebere Heath common centaury

Sunny and warm for a walk on the heath but stil that breeze will not go away:

  • It is very dry, I have never seen so few flowers on Middlebere in summer
  • Common centaury is prospering though, including white ones that I cannot recall seeing before
  • The bee-wolf colony seems to be doing well
28-07-20 Wareham Common wareham common

Sunny today but that chilly, brisk breeze will not go away:

  • Our walk along the river started from the 'hospital' car park today
  • The resident swan couple have four lovely signets about half grown now
  • Various willowherb species undoubtedly flowers of the day
24-07-20 Sunnyside Farm Sunnyside

A breezy afternoon but sunny so off to Sunnyside!

  • Everywhere is so dry and most of the flora is now over
  • Another new site for marbled white
  • Just new species recorded as we visited quite recently
23-07-20 Bog Lane Natural Green Space Bog Lane

An overcast and breezy afternoon with a threat of rain so time for a  visit to Bog Lane where it provides a bit of shelter:

  • Just new and notable species in the records today
  • Still added 30 new species for the site taking it to 118 in total
  • More dogs than I have seen there before so not many animals/birds about!
18-07-20 Cole Wood Cole Wood

A bright but very breezy afternoon so a return to Cole Wood seemed a good choice:

  • Most of the flowers are over now so paid a bit more attention to other things
  • Having visited not long ago I really just looked for what was new
  • Some butterflies about but no silver-washed fritillary this time
17-07-20 Stonehill Down Nature Reserve pale st johns-wort

Gloriously sunny up on the Purbeck Ridge but a bit breezy!

  • At last, I found one of my targets; the scarce Pale St John's-wort
  • Most of the usuals chalk downland flora present but not many butterflies
  • Stonehill is worth the visit just for the views
16-07-20 Holmebridge Holme bridge

After a grey morning we were treated to warm sunshine for our afternoon walk to Rushton Farm:

  • Acres of green pasture with no flowers and 'waste' ground around the farm covered in them!
  • Common field grasshoppers abundant and a few meadow grasshoppers too
  • Some butterflies about and surprised to see a marbled white; they seem to be everywhere this year
13-07-20 Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve Gun towers on the heath

Bright and breezy again; time for a return visit to Sandford Heath:

  • Found a new site for bee-wolf; they do seem to be getting established here on the sry heaths now
  • The pond was surprisingly quiet with no dragonflies or damselflies although there was a golden-ringed dragonfly nearby
  • The first time I have seen a common lizard here although they must surely be numerous 
08-07-20 Middlebere Farm Middlebere Cottages

We needed a flat easy walk today so decided on the path down to the Middlebere hide:

  • Surprised to find the hide open but we were the only ones there anyway!
  • Apart from the gulls there seemed to very few birds of other species
  • Two pyramidal orchids along the path were new and a little unexpected
06-07-20 Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve Kilwood

A decent afternoon and just right for a stroll at Kilwood:

  • 88 species recorded without really trying! 
  • Good numbers of butterflies about but not a great range of species
  • Kilwood clay pits have changed so much in the 15 years we have been visiting
02-07-20 Arne Nature Reserve Arne birch wood

A bit overcast and windy so the woodland at Arne seemed to offer shelter:

  • As I have recorded most of Arne that I am likely to see just concentrated on 'specials' today
  • First marbled white I have ever seen at Arne though
  • The birch woodland, downy birch, never ceases to amaze
26-06-20 Sunnyside Farm Sunnyside

Big change in the weather to overcast, humid and windy

  • Surprising amount of yellow bartsia scattered in the meadows
  • a single flax plant, presumably a remnant of a previous crop here?
  • Otherwise the meadows full of more common flowers and grasses
24-06-20 Bere Wood bere wood

Hottest day of the year so far so we headed for the shade of Bere Wood:

  • Six silver-washed fritillary seen
  • Plentiful meadow brown even in the depth of the woodland along with speckled wood, large skipper, gatekeeper and small white
  • Bracken now dominates the woodland floor so flowers are hard to come by and not one bird seen!
23-06-20 Osmington Mills ships

A lovely afternoon for a walk along the coast from Ringstead to Osmington Mills and back:

  •  We got a little more than we expected with three laid up cruise liners just a little way off shore!
  • Far better were the large numbers of marbled whites and other butterflies on the many bramble flowers
  • As alwys in summer a nice selection of wild flowers; nothing notable but all lovely
22-06-20 Thorncombe Wood and Duddle Heath Thorncombe wood

Sunny again but the strong breeze never seems to go away

  • Lots of sand wasps on the path but they were too active to have any chance of identifying them
  • Rushy pond (see photo) seems to have been cleared; no damselflies today as a result
  • Only four butterflies of three species seen - in mid-June
21-06-20 Bog Lane Natural Green Space bog lane

A sunny and quite warm afternoon but a really stiff breeze rather spoilt things a bit!

  • Good to see swallows feeding over the field; I guess they must be nesting close by
  • The stream is now dominated by hemlock water-dropwort but there seemed to be very few insects feeding on it
  • The display of rhododendrons is nearly over  for another year
20-06-20 Stokeford Heath stokeford heath

A sunny but blustery afternoon so grateful for the protection of some trees:

  • Not the most interesting of walks but still topped 60 species
  • Very few birds but the swans on one of the lakes had eight well grown cygnets
  • The golf course and the scout camp eerily quiet for a Saturday
17-06-20 Slepe Heath yellow bartsia

Sunny again with white fluffy clouds and quite warm

  • The nationally scarce yellow bartsia in flower; a dozen or so plants
  • Keeled skimmer on the pond but otherwise few insects about
  • Still some orchids in flower and sundew in the more damp areas
16-06-20 Bestwall Marsh and Swineham River Frome at Swineham

Sunny afternoon with occasional cloud and really quite warm:

  • Cetti's warbler, reed warbler and sedge warbler all in good voice
  • Path lined with flowers but dominated by hemlock water-dropwort
  • But again, very few insects, especially butterflies
15-06-20 Cole Wood

A warm, pleasant afternoon despite the breeze; ideal for a woodland walk:

  • Very quiet both in terms of people and wildlife
  • A grey squirrel, several blackbirds and singing wrens, not much else
  • Foxgloves still going stgrong and also yellow pimpernell
09-06-20 Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve

Despite being quite windy a pleasant, warm afternoon:

  • No damsels or dragons and no reptiles either but there were two roe deer
  • Silver studded blue and meadow brown about and a Volucella bombylans
  • Lots of dog-roses and surprised to find a bee orchid and yellow-wort


08-06-20 Sharford Bridge

A bright and breezy afternoon but pleasant enough; cooling breeze was welcome at times.

  • With no rain for weeks everywhere is parched and there are not many flowers to be seen
  • The damp meadow by the river is still a picture though with oxeye daisy, meadow buttercup and red clover
  • A few meadow brown about but not much else plus a displaying tree pipit
04-06-20 Arne Nature Reserve

A bright but breezy day so we took our favoured woodland walk

  • Foxgloves at their best now and worth the visit on their own!
  • Four-spotted chaser laying eggs in one of the ponds
  • Song thrush feeding young

Otherwise very quiet for both wildlife and visitors