Common darter dragonfly on a flower

Discover the Wildlife of Southbourne

Firstly, I would like to credit our teacher and avid nature enthusiast, Nigel, who took every photo in this blog and gave us permission to use them – great photos, and thank you Nigel! Southbourne, a beautiful seaside area in Dorset, is more than just a place with great views and a friendly community. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, full of amazing wildlife to explore. From the lively rock pools on the beach to the peaceful woods and heathlands nearby, there’s so much to see. Whether you love watching birds, are curious about sea creatures, or just enjoy being in nature, Southbourne has something special for you. Join us as we explore the wonderful wildlife of Southbourne and meet the fascinating animals that live here.

The Azure Damselfly: A Tiny Blue Gem

The Azure Damselfly is a beautiful insect with bright blue and black colours. They are often found around ponds from May to September – try visiting Fisherman’s Walk natural trail during this time. These small, delicate creatures help keep the mosquito population under control. Watching these tiny blue gems is a real treat for anyone who loves nature and shows just how rich Southbourne’s wildlife is.

Azure damselfly perched on a leaf


The Blackcap Bird: A Sweet-Singing Visitor

The Blackcap bird is known for its lovely, melodious song. This small bird, with its distinctive black or brown cap on its head, can often be seen in Southbourne’s gardens and woodlands, particularly during winter. Blackcaps are migratory, spending summers in Germany and north-East Europe, and winters in the UK. Their beautiful songs and distinctive appearance make them a delightful sight and sound for birdwatchers.

Blackcap female bird in a bush


The Bluetailed Damselfly: A Tiny Splash of Colour

The Bluetailed Damselfly is a small but striking insect with a bright blue tip at the end of its tail. Often found near ponds, streams, and wetlands in Southbourne, this delicate damselfly is a joy to watch as it flits gracefully over the water. Its slender body and vibrant tail make it easy to spot, adding a splash of colour to the natural scenery. Bluetailed Damselflies are important for maintaining healthy ecosystems, as they help control insect populations.

Blue tailed damselfly on the top of a leaf


The Carrion Crow: A Smart and Adaptable Bird

The Carrion Crow is a smart black bird that you can see in Southbourne’s parks, woods, and even around town. With its shiny black feathers and sharp eyes, this bird can live almost anywhere. Carrion Crows are known for being clever and working well together. They help keep the environment clean by eating dead animals and waste.

Carrion crow perched by pond


The Common Darter Dragonfly: A Red Beauty

The Common Darter Dragonfly is a bright insect you can often find near ponds in Southbourne. It’s red or yellow and moves quickly, catching other bugs. You’ll usually see them in late summer or early fall. Their colours and fast flying make them fun to watch outside.

Common darter dragonfly on a flower


The Dartford Warbler: A Small Bird with a Loud Song

The Dartford Warbler is a tiny bird you can spot in the bushes around Southbourne. Even though it’s small, its song is loud and easy to hear. With its brown feathers and long tail, it’s a cute sight for people who like watching birds in nature.

Dartford warbler bird


The Dunnock Bird: A Quiet Garden Friend

The Dunnock bird is a small, brown bird you might see in Southbourne gardens. It doesn’t have bright colours, but it’s still nice to watch. Dunnocks sing quietly and are peaceful to have around. Keep an eye out for them when you’re outside in Southbourne.

Dunnock bird on a fence


The Emperor Dragonfly: A Big, Colourful Flier

The Emperor Dragonfly is one of the biggest dragonflies you’ll see in Southbourne. It’s colourful with shades of blue and green. You can find them near ponds and slow streams, flying around and eating other bugs. They’re like acrobats in the air, making summer skies in Southbourne even more beautiful. Keep an eye out for them as they zoom around over the water.

Emperor dragonfly on a flower


The Gatekeeper Butterfly: A Common Summer Visitor

The Gatekeeper Butterfly, also called the Hedge Brown, is a butterfly you often see in Southbourne during warmer months. It’s easy to spot with its orange and brown wings. You can find it flying around flowers, drinking nectar. It adds some colour to the scenery and is nice to watch for people who like nature. Keep an eye out for it when you’re out and about in Southbourne during summer.

Gatekeeper butterfly sat on a flower


The Greenfinch Bird: A Happy Garden Friend

The Greenfinch is a small bird with green feathers you can often see in Southbourne gardens. It chirps happily and moves around energetically. Keep an eye out for it in trees and bushes—it brings joy to outdoor spaces.

Greenfinch bird in a tree


The Grey Squirrel: A Common Park Friend

The Grey Squirrel is often seen in Southbourne’s parks. It has a bushy tail and grey fur, and you can easily spot it running around in the trees and even the streets around our school! These squirrels are good at jumping and climbing, and they’re always looking for food. Some people find them annoying, but others think they’re fun to watch. Keep an eye out for them when you’re in Southbourne’s parks—they’re part of the wildlife you might see there.

Grey squirrel hanging onto tree


The Herring Gull: A Big Seaside Bird

The Herring Gull is a large bird with white feathers, grey wings, and a yellow beak. You’ll often see it at the beaches and near the coast of Southbourne. It’s easy to spot with its loud call and habit of scavenging for food. Some people find them a bit bothersome, but others like their looks and how they live by the sea. Look out for these big birds when you’re at the beach in Southbourne—they’re a common sight there.

Herring gull bird flying in the sky


The Jay Bird: A Colourful Forest Friend

The Jay bird is a pretty bird with blue and white feathers. You can often find it in the woods around Southbourne. It’s easy to spot because of its bright colours and noisy calls. Jays are smart and like to hop around in the trees, looking for food like acorns. Look out for these colourful birds when you’re walking in the woods—they’re a nice sight to see.

Jay bird in a bush


The Jersey Tiger Moth: A Striped Beauty

The Jersey Tiger Moth is a striking insect with black wings and bold orange stripes, making it easy to spot in Southbourne’s gardens and parks. Despite its name, this moth isn’t exclusive to Jersey—it’s also found in various parts of the UK during the summer months. Known for its nocturnal habits, the Jersey Tiger Moth is attracted to flowers and garden plants, where it feeds on nectar. Keep an eye out for these colourful creatures as they flutter among the blooms, adding a touch of vibrancy to Southbourne’s green spaces.

Jersey Tiger Moth hanging in tree


The Juvenile Stonechat Bird: Growing Up in Southbourne

The Juvenile Stonechat bird is a young bird with brown feathers, often seen in Southbourne’s fields and open areas. As it grows, it will turn into an adult with a black head and orange chest. These young birds are curious and active, learning from their parents as they explore. Keep an eye out for them—they’re a charming part of Southbourne’s wildlife.

Juvenile stonechat in heathland


The Kestrel Bird: A Skilled Hunter

The Kestrel bird is a small falcon with brown feathers. You can often see it flying over Southbourne’s fields. It’s really good at hunting small animals and bugs. Even though it’s small, it’s a great hunter and helps keep the ecosystem balanced. Look out for these cool birds flying around in Southbourne—they’re fun to watch for people who like birds and nature.

Kestrel diving into water


The Koi Carp: Bright Pond Fish

Koi carp are colourful fish you often see in ponds in Southbourne. They have lots of bright colours and patterns, making them pretty to look at. These fish are friendly and swim gracefully. In Japan, they’re considered symbols of good luck and success. Watch them swim in the pond at Fisherman’s Walk!


The Red Damselfly: A Tiny Red Beauty

The Red Damselfly is a small insect with bright red colour, often seen near ponds in Southbourne. Even though it’s small, its red colour makes it easy to spot. You can watch these pretty bugs flying over the water—they add some red colour to the area. Keep an eye out for them when you’re near ponds in Southbourne.

Large red damselfly on a leaf


The Orb Weaver Spider: Expert Web Builder

The Orb Weaver Spider is often seen in Southbourne gardens and woods. It has a round body and makes intricate webs to catch insects. Even though they might seem scary, they help keep bug numbers down. Keep an eye out for these spiders when you’re outside—they’re important for the environment.

Orb weaver spider in web


The Raft Spider: Big Spider Near Water

The Raft Spider is a large spider you can find near water in Southbourne’s marshes. It’s brown and has hairy legs. These spiders are good at hunting—they walk on water and catch insects and small fish. Even though they might look scary, they help keep bug numbers down. Look out for them in Fisherman’s Walk pond in Southbourne.

Raft spider on a lily pad


The Red Wasp: Watch Out for its Sting!

The Red Wasp is a small, bright red insect you might see in Southbourne’s gardens and parks, like Fisherman’s Walk nature trail. It can sting and hurt, so it’s best to keep away. Red Wasps make nests out of paper in safe spots, where they live and protect their home. They help control bugs, but they usually won’t bother you unless you bother them. If you see them outside, just give them some space!

Red wasp sitting on water


The Small Copper Butterfly: A Little Orange Beauty

The Small Copper Butterfly is a small, orange butterfly you often see at Southbourne Undercliff. Its bright colour makes it easy to find as it flies around flowers. These butterflies add a nice touch of colour to the area and show that nature is doing well. Keep an eye out for them when you’re outside—they’re a lovely part of Southbourne’s nature.

Small copper butterfly in a bush


The Small White Butterfly: Common in Gardens

The Small White Butterfly is a common sight in Southbourne’s gardens. It’s small and has white wings. You’ll often see it flying around flowers, sipping nectar. It’s a pretty addition to any garden. Keep an eye out for these butterflies in bushes and on flowers during summer — they’re a stunning natural addition to Southbourne’s wildlife!

Small white butterfly hanging off flower

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