A few highlights from a superb walk along the south-west coastal path close to Langton Matravers in Dorset.
Although the National Trust recommend parking up at Spyware Barn we parked up close to Tom’s Field Campsite and headed south across the sheepfields to the Priestway.
Surprisngly warm as we headed uphill with plenty of Swallows swooping down to feed on the insects. On previous visits the drystone walls have proven to be a reliable spot for Yellow Wagtails and Redstarts but unfortunately not on this occasion.
Upon reaching the Priestway we headed south towards Dancing Ledge and picked up the SW coastal path.
Plenty of Wheatears to be found with the drystone walls and bales of straw proving popular spots. Also a Roe Deer in one of the quarries, numerous Painted Ladies and a Kestrel.
Leaving the Priestway behind we headed south on the steep drop down to the coast and Hedbury Quarry.
Great to see the colony of Wall Lizards is thriving with plenty of lizards to be found.
There are considered to be two forms of Wall lizard within the UK.
The brown-backed form as per the above photograph originates from western continental Europe and the green-backed form as per the photo below originates from Italy. Neither of them are native and are thought to be descendants of deliberate releases that occurred during the Victorian era. Arguably the only native colony to be found is on Jersey.
Italian form of the Wall Lizard at Hedbury Quarry.
Western European form as typically found in Brittany also at Hedbury.
For further information about Wall Lizards the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group is a great place to start.