Meet the Dorset Wildlife (Part Two)

by Rosie Tanner

By Ross Packman

Join Land and Wave for an epic adventure in Dorset and you could have a wild encounter with one of the following creatures.

1. Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus)

Not far from our coasteering site at Dancing Ledge, Durlston Country Park is a renowned location for spotting passing dolphins and whales. Their resident Dolphin Watch regularly observe Bottlenose Dolphins, with a group of over 100 of these playful cetaceans spotted in 2001!

2. Kestrel (Falco Tinnunculus)

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Also going by the enchanting colloquial name of the ‘Bell Hawk’, the Kestrel is a slight falcon best known for its distinctive hovering. Feeding on small mammals and insects, Kestrels can frequently be seen taking advantage of thermals rising from the Dorset coast.

3. Greater Black-Backed Gull (Larus Marinus)

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Towering over the resident Herring Gulls (those infamous ice cream thieves), Greater Black-Backs are the largest members of the gull family. Often solitary, these hulking birds are commonly seen during crabbing trips to Swanage Pier.

4. Common Lizard (Zootoca Vivipara)

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Though sadly now anything but common, careful Land and Wave adventurers could still catch a glimpse of a sunbathing Common Lizard on one of the many dry stone walls on the Isle of Purbeck.

The nearby RSPB Arne nature reserve is proud to call itself home to all six species of British reptile, including the rare Smooth Snake.

5. European Shag (Phalacrocorax Aristotelis)

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Smaller cousin of the Cormorant, Shags nest on cliff ledges all around Purbeck. Displaying a distinctive crest of feathers during mating season, Shags can often be seen sunning their wings after diving for a seafood meal.

6. Barn Owl (Tyto Alba)

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Pale ghosts with an unearthly shriek, these beautiful birds have seen a serious decline as a result of extreme climatic events in recent years. However, a nest site has recently been discovered close to one of our Land and Wave residential sites, thought to contain at least two fluffy owlets!

Land & Wave activities include: sea kayaking, paddle boarding, coasteering, bushcraft & more.www.landandwave.co.uk

About the author

Environmentalist. @roscopackman Outdoor Instructor. @ /@Writer.@ Hiker.

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