March 26th – Wyke Down / Gussage All Saints   2 comments

With Red Kite and Great Grey Shrike in the area I decided to head to Wyke Down near to Sixpenny Handley this morning. The weather was beautiful with temperatures of 20 C, like a warm summer’s day.

Wyke Down, a wonderful area for wildlife, and archeology, there are many Neolithic burial mounds in the area.


Ackling Dyke, a Neolithic track way that crosses the area.



I soon found the Red Kite, which gave prolonged, but distant views, before flying off north, but there was no sign of the shrike.  What was really great was the number of singing birds; the cheesy song of Yellowhammers, the jangle of Corn Buntings and the never ending warble of Skylarks. In addition I must have seen 20 Buzzards during the morning, three pairs of Kestrel whilst Red-legged Partridges scuttled across the road in front of me.


Male Yellowhammer

Listen to Yellowhammer song at

Singing Corn Bunting


Once known as the 'fat bird of the barley' Corn Buntings were once a common site in farmland but have declined precipitously due to agricultural intensification.

Listen to Corn Bunting song at

Buzzard mobbed by a Rook



I drove back via Gussage All Saints and was very surprised to see another Red Kite, perched on a branch overhanging the road. I also saw my first Swallow of the year.


1st year Red Kite.


Are these Kites, wanderers from the Chiltern reintroduction scheme or migrants from Spain on their way to northern Europe?


A picture postcard cottage at Gussage All Saints.



Finally, I called in at the River Stour bridge at Wimborne in the hope I could photograph the pair of Red-crested Pochards that are regularly seen there. I saw them, but they were too far away to photograph, however a close flying Grey Heron made the stop worthwhile.

A lovely morning with some great photographic opportunities.




190 years separates the stone road bridge from the modern footbridge over the River Stour.


A Grey Heron




Posted March 26, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

2 responses to “March 26th – Wyke Down / Gussage All Saints

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  1. Hello
    I was searching for an image of Ackling Dyke to include in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund when I came across a brilliant photo which shows the alignment perfectly on your March 26th – Wyke Down / Gussage All Saints post.. Could I have permission to use this image please. I will of course credit you.
    Many thanks

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