Knowle Hill

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Is there a more picturesque village than Corfe Castle?

Rising up to either side of the castle the chalk ridge of the Purbecks cuts across the peninsula leaving the castle effectively at the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck.

View from West Hill looking west from the Bronze Age Burial mound towards Knowle Hill.

Due to its prominent location within the landscape the Purbeck ridge attracts a variety of migrants with the chalk hills being the last stop for many birds before reaching the English Channel. In addition to birds literally thousands of insects pass through attracting the attention of the resident Kestrels and occasional Hobby.

Kestrel hunting Dragonflies from Knowle Hill
Swooping down for a tasty morsel.

Interesting to see the variety of hunting techniques used by the Kestrels. Swooping down to pluck a dragonfly out of the air the Kestrel demonstrates the hunting skills more commonly seen in Hobby’s and the larger Falcons.

Kestrel (male) from Knowle Hill
A pair of Wheatears feeding up on the plentiful supply of insects before continuing their journey south.
Kestrel (female) close to Knowle Hill
Swooping down on another unfortunate insect.
A more typical view.

Watching the Kestrels hunting along the Purbecks is definitely one of summer’s highlights. The sheer range of aerobatic skills and hunting techniques is astonishing. The fact that most of it is taking place at eye level makes for a breathtaking display.

In addition to Kestrels plenty of Linnets and Goldfinches to be found enjoying the seed heads of the local flora

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