Tips to See Wildlife: June

Flowers all around in June

June is a great month to look for flowers.  Look out for orchids this month, including common spotted, bee and pyramidal.  Top flowery nature reserves include Kingcombe Meadows and Fontmell Down.  The tall yellow bog asphodel on any wet heathland site is always a spectacle in June.

There will be plenty of insects on the wing now.  Heaths are a great place to spot dragonflies and damselflies and to look for hobbies, which can catch and eat dragonflies on the wing!   Now is a good time for butterfly spotting.  Portland’s quarries, including our King Barrow Quarries reserve, are famous for butterflies, including Dorset’s special Lulworth skipper. Take a look at the video below taken in 2009 that showcases some of Dorset's most beautiful butterflies.

Look but don't touch

The bird breeding season is well advanced so look out for young birds.  Remember not to touch any fledgling birds that you find ­ the chances are the parent bird will be back after you have moved away.  On the heaths, Dartford warblers and stonechats will be easier to spot as they are busy finding food to raise their young.  

On Brownsea Island, now is the time to get really good views of the nesting Sandwich and common terns from the lagoon hides, but you can also watch the adult birds fishing off Studland, Poole and Bournemouth beaches as you lie on the sand.  The Sandwich terns have a spectacular vertical dive and the common terns have a more angled dive. 

This is the month to enjoy the brief visit to Dorset of swifts as they will leave in July.  Look for them in towns, including Blandford, Bridport, Dorchester and Wimborne.

Marine life gets busy

Basking sharks can be spotted all along the Dorset coast - our  best reserve to see them is probably West Bexington but otherwise from cliffs all around Dorset. Later in the summer they tend to migrate north up the west coast.

Sea hares come inshore to breed in shallows and sometimes can be found in rockpools on a low tide. They form mating chains and produce pink egg strings that look like 'silly string'.

Take a look at the video below filmed in nearby Cornwall of an amazing basking shark encounter!





Green winged orchid

Green winged orchid - Andy Fale 

six spot burnet - Nigel Brooks

6 spot burnet moths - Nigel Brooks 

2 swifts in nest

Swifts in nest - Dorset Wildlife Trust 




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