September is a wonderful month to get out and about as there will still be plenty of summery insects and flowers to enjoy while, for many birds, autumn migration is well underway and there is a chance of seeing just about anything passing through the county.
On the chalk downs, such as Fontmell Down nature reserve, look out for butterflies like chalkhill blue, silver-spotted skipper and the second brood of the stunning Adonis blue.
Special flowers to look out for include autumn gentian (Fontmell Down and Upton Heath) and the beautifully named late orchid, autumn ladies tresses, also at Fontmell Down.
Heaths are well worth a September visit for dragonflies and the chance of seeing a hobby, the agile falcon that catches dragonflies on the wing before heading off to Africa for the winter. Watch the amazing video of a hobby in action below!
September is the best month for sightings of the magnificent osprey as it migrates across Dorset to Africa, stopping off for as much as a week to eat fish from our waters, including Poole Harbour.
Wading bird migration is in full swing, with some birds stopping over briefly at Brownsea Island nature reserve and others arriving to spend the whole winter with us. Numbers will build up gradually now and Brownsea’s hides have unsurpassed views. Look out for red squirrels on the paths now that the island is quieter and not quite so hot. (Like the rest of us, the squirrels like to take it easy during a heatwave.) Watch a video of the Brownsea squirrels below.