Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of my favourite walks

Durlston to Winspit/Worth Matravers

Today is the 6th June and it's a fine sunny day. I drove down into Dorset again to walk along the coastal footpath between Durlston CP and Winspit valley and the village of Worth Matravers. This is a good 10 mile round trip. This is one of my favourite places and great to walk around.

This time of year the footpaths are still quiet but the meadows are full of colourful flowers.


The walk started from the car park at Durlston country park and you are soon walking on the green grassy foootpaths




Still quite early in the morning and hardly a butterfly to be seen. I went looking for Bee Orchids in the meadows but gave up after a short while.

Then found this female Common Blue sunning itself



Further along the footpath one gets this view of the lighthouse




I continued to the edge of the CP then down the slopes to the lower footpath. The footpath is well managed and this is one of the swing gates.



Soon Bee Orchids were becoming easy to spot and just without really trying along the lower footpath I counted some 60,



The coastal views are magnificent from here





As time progressed and the temperature increased butterflies started flying.; Small Heaths, Common Blues, Dingy Skippers, Speckled Woods.

At one spot I disturbed a Cream-spotted Tiger



Then came across this Large Skipper



Further along I heard the croaks of a Raven. When I looked up I saw a Raven quickly scampering to the east but then a Peregrine Falcon started dive bombing it. Spectacularly the Raven turn upside down as if they were going to lock talons but the Peregrine suddenly gained height to dive bomb again.

Another Raven appeared heading in a similar direction and the Peregrine dive bombed this as well. After a few minutes the Ravens had fled and the Peregrine went on its way.

Nearing Winspit valley old quarries became evident





My route took me up through Winspit valley and up to the village of Worth Matravers. From here I walked alog part of the Pilgrims way and at one point had a great view of Swanage and Hengistbury Head



After a couple of miles I veered right to take the top footpath back to Durlston CP.

Butterflies seen:

Small Heath - 12
Common Blue - 50 +
Dingy Skipper - 16
Speckled Wood - 19
Large Skipper - 1
Red Admiral - 2
Small Blue - 3
Wall Brown - 3
Meadow Brown - 2
Small and Large White

Orchids: Bee, Pyramid, Common Spotted, Southern Marsh