Summer wildlife in Studland Bay

A four-spotted chaser dragonfly

Dragonflies and damselflies are a common sight at Studland in the summer – look out for them especially in the wetter areas such as around the boardwalk at Shell Bay.

Species you might see include the four-spotter chaser and the magnificent emperor dragonflies, or the more delicate emerald and azure damselflies.

In summer the wetter areas are also home to butterflies including the silver studded blue and grayling.

Water voles are also around, though they spend most of their time in dense reedbeds and can be hard to spot.

Water voles are among the shy creatures that make their home in the wetlands of Studland
A water vole

Little egrets, which look like small white herons, are easier to find as they stand guard beside open pools waiting for prey.

Common terns and Sandwich terns nest on nearby Brownsea Island in the summer and can be seen patrolling the harbour shore.

These elegant, swallow-winged seabirds dive for their food and the area around the chain ferry is a good spot to watch their aerobatics.

If you're very lucky, you may even spot a visiting osprey in summer
An osprey in flight

If you are really lucky you may even see a rare osprey. Poole Harbour is a regular staging post for the fish-eating hawks on their annual migration route.

After dark, listen out for the distinctive ‘churring’ sound of the male nightjar calling to potential mates in the heathland either side of Ferry Road.