Dorset coast in summer

The Purbeck coast is spectacular at any time of the year. The orchids are the main attraction in spring (April-June), sea birds are extraordinary in the winter and spring, Adders are spectacular in February, but in July butterflies are king. It is a wonderful thing to keep visiting a habitat to enjoy its flora and then get to know the fauna associated with the habitat too.

Orchids are still here of course, as shown by these fat Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) seed pods (below), each of which will hold hundreds of thousands of seed.

Other floral delights included Bog pimpernel in a running stream;

And the coastal specialties, Sea aster (Tripolium pannonicum) and Golden Samphire (Limbarda crithmoides) which make a summer cliff walk very special. (below)

The famous butterfly of this stretch of coast is the Lulworth skipper (below) – a cute little flappy butterfly that is found nowhere else in the UK.

It is not alone and the cliffs have clouds of Gatekeepers, Meadow browns, Marbled whites, Ringlets, Common blues ….. Why not go and look for yourself – and maybe get involved in the Big Butterfly Count too.

As a keen photographer of flowers, I can’t help noticing that butterflies move much more than plants, which makes good closeups much harder to get (hooray for plants) but fortunately this female Common Blue was in the mood to pose.





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