Dorset Walks

Thursday October 21st
Ringstead and White Nothe

list of species seen

Trip Report

After several days of apalling weather the clouds lifted and we were treated to a fine bright and blustery afternoon.

Our first target on leaving the car park was the clifftop path that would take us to the crest of White Nothe and provide a beautiful walk with Portland off to our left and one of the most dramatic views in Dorset in front of us.

Reaching the cliff, we stopped to enjoy the view to the west. A Buzzard was "hanging on the wind" in front of us, whilst nearby a hovering Kestrel showed us how it is done by an expert.

Turning east to continue our walk we found a Stonechat perched on a wire fence not far away. Further on we found quite a concentration of birds around a very handsome thatched barn. Birds here included more Stonechats, a Pied Wagtail, a very bright male Yellowhammer and a mixed flock of Goldfinches and Linnets.

The fields here held a large number of young Parasol Mushrooms.
As we reached White Nothe cottages a Peacock butterfly flew up from the path - one of the very few seen this autumn

The wall surrounding the cottages held a very strong population of the tiny Wall Rue fern, a species that obviously doesn't mind a battering from salty winds.

A little further on a small blue flower turned out to be a very stunted Field Scabious.
As we crested the top of White Nothe an amazing view came in to sight. The chalk cliffs of Bats Head were closest with the darker Purbeck stone at the top of Durdle Door just visible beyond. The Purbeck stone was also visible in the sea as a series of rocks and reefs just offshore.

In the distance St Aldhelm's Head was dark in the shade of a heavy rain shower that we were glad to be well away from.

The middle distance showed us the buildings of Lulworth Camp with the cliffs of Kimmeridge further off.
The walk back produced more Stonechats (5 together at one point) and flocks of Herring Gulls flying up the valleys towards the sea for their evening roost.

Looking north-east a ridge of hills looked like the ones to the right of the road from Blandford to Salisbury, on the Dorset/Hampshire border. A compass bearing (044o) and a map later confirmed that the exceptionally clear air allowed us to see these hills 30 miles away.

The day's list...


Wall Rue
Field Scabious


Parasol Mushroom
"Fairy Rings"


Red Admiral

Herring Gull
Wood Pigeon
Pied Wagtail

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