Dorset Walks

Thursday December 22nd
Church Ope Cove and Penn's Weare

list of species seen

Trip Report

Our final walk of the year was once again held in bright sunshine, although with a cold westerly wind.

After mulled wine and mince pies in the car park we hurried down to the coast to see if the Fulmars were back on their nesting ledges. On the way we managed to spot several birds including a Great Tit, a Magpie, a Chaffinch and several Greenfinches.

As soon as we walked clear of the railway cutting the Fulmars could be seen, wheeling round in circles over the cliffs. We approached closer and saw that a Raven was intent on catching one of the Fulmars as it sat on a ledge. Time after time the Raven would attack the Fulmars but it just wasn't manoeuvrable enough to catch one. We took this opportunity to enjoy outstanding views of both species.

Next we walked on towards the Peregrines' nest site. At first we couldn't find the birds but soon they appeared attacking something down near the shoreline. After a minute or two of exciting acrobatics their victim vanished amongst the rocks and bushes and the pair of Peregrines returned to their perches high on the cliffs of Grove Point. This enabled us to watch them at close quarters through the telescope, appreciating the size difference between them. Suddenly the female took to the air and dashed off towards the sea where their earlier adversary, a Buzzard, was attempting a quiet retreat. There followed several minutes of dramatic stoops and climbs as the Peregrine defended her territory against the perceived threat of the larger bird of prey. Eventually the Buzzard left to the north and the Peregrine rejoined her mate on the cliff.
Satisfied with a fascinating afternoon's birdwatching, we turned back and walked off into the sunset ...

The day's list...


Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Wood Pigeon
Carrion Crow

Maidenhair Fern

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