Dorset Walks

Thursday November 24th
Church Ope Cove and Penn's Weare

list of species seen

Trip Report

Our first week of real winter weather found us on the only sheltered spot on the island.

Around the car park there were signs of Spring as the resident Crows and Magpies started to tidy up their nests ready for the breeding season which for them is only a few weeks away.

As we reached the lookout over Church Ope Cove a Peregrine dashed past us flushing a flock of Woodpigeons from the trees. As soon as the pigeons realised what was chasing them they all dropped back into the cover of the branches, knowing that a Peregrine needs a clear line to strike. Frustrated, the Peregrine sat in one of the trees (a very rare event in itself) staring at its intended prey items all around it. Through the telescope we could see that this was the youngster from the local pair, still reluctant to leave its parents.

Further down the railway line we came across this bird's parents, sat in their usual spots well-separated on the cliffs of Grove Point. Shortly after this, the female Peregrine flew towards her mate and sat within a foot or so of him. Normally the much smaller male would fly away, preferring to keep a safe distance from his ferocious partner. Today however they sat staring at each other, presumably a start to their courtship behaviour and perhaps another sign of Spring.
Turning our backs on this loving pair we looked down towards the sea and Little Beach, where an enormous bull Grey Seal was "bottling" - floating vertically with just its nose above the surface.
Walking back, we were pleased to see that the rare Maidenhair Fern had a new frond. Definitely Spring!

The day's list...


Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Wood Pigeon
Carrion Crow

Grey Seal


Maidenhair Fern

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