Sunday 11th May 2014 - Dorset (part 1)

Right, I am re-embarking on my quest to try and get this blog up to date (who knows I may get there before 2014 is over!)  Anyway, on with the posts...

This post is covers part of our recent break away down Dorset.  We stayed just out side of Wareham and Bev & I were joined by her sister Nat.  Which was a bonus as it now meant there were 3 sets of eyes on the look out for wildlife!

Tynham and Worbarrow
I don't normally deviate from the wildlife but Tynham deserves a special mention as it is such a fascinating place.  The village of Tynham is located on the MOD's Lulworth ranges and is only open when the firing ranges are not in use.  The land was obtained by the MOD by compulsory purchase order just after the second world war and all its inhabitants were forced to leave.  What is left is basically a ghost town of empty shells of buildings.  I really is an eerie place.

Tynham Village

From Tynham we walked down to the nearby (and rather stunning) Worbarrow Bay.  Along the path to the we encountered a few interesting moth larvae including a rather gorgeous Garden Tiger moth caterpillar.  At the bay itself we were greeted by good views of Rock Pipit (although none would stay still long enough to have their photo taken).

Garden Tiger (Arctia caja) Larva

Worbarrow Bay (photo by Bev Kernohan)

Hartland Moor NNR
Pre-armed with info from a friend (and known reptile botherer) Tracy F we headed to a new site, Hartland Moor.  I had never been to this huge area of lowland heath before but was well impressed and visited a number of times throughout the week.  My prime aim of visiting this site was to try and see a Sand Lizard and after a bit of searching around I did just that! I managed to find a rather stunning ♂ Sand Lizard basking in all its green-hued glory.  Result! this was a lifer for me....cheers for the hints and tips Trace! 

Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis) male

Click on image to enlarge

The moor didn't stop giving as I recorded yet another lifer in the form of a Grass Eggar moth larva.  This is a fairly scarce moth of coastal sand dunes and acid grasslands that is not found in my native Midlands.  It's large hairy bright yellow caterpillar really is quite stunning.  Other inverts of interest on the moor were 3 really fresh looking Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies and a Green Hairstreak butterfly. 

Grass Eggar (Lasiocampa trifolii) Larva

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Things were pretty good birdwise too, with families of Stonechats everywhere and Tree Pipits singing from the tree tops.

♂ Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)


  1. Good to here about the Stonechats doing well Jase, I might just get one turn up here on passage this Autumn :-)

  2. Absolutely Warren. I had one on early Spring passage on the patch this year (first in an age) fingers crossed for you mate

  3. Nice post and pictures Jason. Dorset has always been one of my favourite areas.

  4. Cheers's one of my favourite places too!