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25 Jul 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 23:24
Church Ope Cove


Out in the boat this afternoon and a terrific catch of Mackerel, of which many of the 70 we caught went back to fight another day. We were just off Church Ope Cove and as we drifted by, you could literally see the whitebait coming up to the surface as the Mackerel were chasing them upwards.

We even had a Red Gurnard, a beautiful coloured fish which was also released.

Red Gurnard
Within seconds of me throwing a bit of fish bait into the water there were up to 20 Great Black-backed Gulls squabbling over the freebie.

Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

A touch of deja vu, with the same weather conditions and the same walk as yesterday. Only difference really was a slight drop in the wind speed, making it feel really hot.

Butterflies seen today were Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, 3 Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, 1 Marbled White, 1 Small Copper and several Chalk Hill Blues.
Moths as yesterday Six-spot Burnets and a couple of Silver Y's.
Hoverflies seen were mainly Marmalade with a few more Tapered Drone Flies than of late.

Also seen were Common Red Soldier Beetles, Swollen-thighed Beetles, Sweat Bees sp. and an Ichneumon sarcitorius.
A Migrant Hawker was whizzing around the steps below Rufus Castle and I actually managed to spot 3 Wall Lizards this today.
Here are few images from this morning:
Chalk Hill Blue
And another
A female I believe
And another male.
Ringlet
Green-veined White
Gatekeeper
Silver Y
Six-spot Burnet Moth
A female Swollen-thighed Beetle
A Common Red Soldier Beetle
I'm pretty sure these are Sweat Bees. Not sure which species though.
Top left is an Ichneumon sarcitorius, not sure what the other one is
Hurrah a Wall Lizard
And another. They have proved difficult to spot this Summer, but certainly a few out today.
A lovely close-up. Check out those toes nails which help it climb the walls and rocks.
And another, this time in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
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Sightings - Wednesday 25th July 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 21:39
Cattle Egret - 1 Arne RSPB early morning from Coombe Heath
Osprey - 1 Arne RSPB
Whimbrel - 20+ Stanpit
Knot - 3 Stanpit
Sanderling - 2 Abbotsbury
Common Sandpiper - 3 Stanpit
Green Sandpiper - 20 Lytchett Fields RSPB, 1 Abbotsbury, 1 Holton Lee
Greenshank - 1 Stanpit
Grasshopper Warbler - 1 Abbotsbury
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Sightings - Tuesday 24th July 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:38
Cattle Egret - 1 Arne RSPB
Osprey - 1 Arne RSPB
Sanderling -  3 Abbotsbury
Greenshank - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Common Sandpiper - 7 Abbotsbury
Green Sandpiper - 2 Lytchett Fields RSPB
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21 Jul 18 - Mediterranean Migrants

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 18:00
Having spent a few hours sorting a backlog of recent UK photos for the Blog, I checked Twitter to see if there had been any interesting wildlife sightings while I had been sorting my photos. A post from local Birder Ian Ballam about a Dragonfly he had photographed at Lytchett Bay (at the other end of Poole Harbour) caught my attention. Ian is out locally most days & this year has been doing a Dragonfly photographic Year List. The photo was clearly not up to Ian's normal standard, was quite some distance away & blurry. Ian asked whether this side-on shot was a Southern Migrant Hawker. Looking at it there were large blue eyes (which looked good), a green thorax & a blue & black abdomen. Potentially yes was my immediate thought. I checked a few photos on the UK Dragonflies website to double check how to rule out the other Hawkers & Emperor Dragonfly. Each were quickly eliminated & I thought I could see thin black vertical lines on the green thorax, but that was just a bit too tricky given the poor quality of the photo. However, it was good enough to think I would need to visit Lyttle-shit Bay (you may gather it's not my favourite part of Poole Harbour). A couple of phone calls with Ian confirmed that Nick Hull, who is another LB patch watcher, had joined Ian. They had now got decent photographs & confirmed the id. My suspicions have now been confirmed that this is a county first. However, they have been breeding in Kent & Essex for at just over a decade since initial sightings in 2006, following a single 20th Century sighting. There have been sightings in the last couple of weeks in Hants & Somerset, which may also be county firsts. Therefore, it's a species that was on the cards for being found this year in Dorset given the warm weather. I had no choice but to grab the camera & head off in the heat (the car thermostat was recording it was the upper twenties outside).
Southern Migrant Hawker: Male. They are superficially similar to male Migrant Hawkers, but have vivid blue eyes & blue colouration on segment two
Southern Migrant Hawker: Male. Segment two Southern Migrant Hawker: Male. This individual only landed twice in the hour I was there. It frequently got into territorial aerial fights with another male that was also flying around the same nearly dried up pond. There was also one (& occasionally two) individuals on a second dried up pond nearby. No females were seen while I was there, but a probable female was briefly seen the following daySouthern Migrant Hawker: MaleSouthern Migrant Hawker: Male. Another feature is the blue-green sides of the thorax with thin vertical black lines
Migrant Hawker: Male for comparison. Note, the full greyish eyes & overall darker blue colouration
Migrant Hawker: Male. Close up of segment two
Migrant Hawker: Male. Note, the broad pale stripes on the side of the thoraxThis was my 35th species of Dragonfly in Dorset.
A happy Ian Ballam: Enjoying having a bonus Dragonfly for his Year List as Ian doesn't tend to travel far from Dorset
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Increase in fly-tipping on nature reserves leads to safety concerns

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:22

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has seen an increase in fly-tipping on its nature reserves in east Dorset, which has led to concerns for the safety of the heaths during the hot weather.  

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24 Jul 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:19
Wakeham.

I was not surprised to see this Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) wandering around the Cottage. With so many woodlouse about, it's good that they have a predator to keep their numbers down.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but this a great spider to have in and around the house to keep check of those woodlouse.

Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

Another scorcher of a day, thank goodness though for a lovely breeze to keep the air moving around.

Main highlight today was seeing 2 Migrant Hawkers, one at Rufus Castle and the other in the grounds of St Andrews Church, though it is possible they were the same.

Also about were lots of Chalk Hill Blues along the Mermaid Track, where there were quite a few Large Whites and a Speckled Wood. As in past days the numbers of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets are well down. And today was the first day I didn't record a Marble White. A couple of Commas seen.

Still lots of Six-spot Burnet moths on the wing and a couple of Silver Y's.

Hoverflies were out in force with Marmalade, The Footballer and several Syrphus sp.

This prolonged hot weather seems to have seen a drop in bees, certainly in the middle of the day. Maybe they are more active early morning late evening. Needless to say I only saw a few, mainly Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees (Bombus rupestris), a Small Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) and an Andrena sp.

No Wall Lizards seen today, in fact I didn't even hear one scurrying away!

Here are few images from today:
A Speckled Wood in its usual resting place under the Sycamores along the Mermaid Track
A male Chalk Hill Blue
And a female
Here she is just about to be nudged off the flower......
.......by a male.
A Meadow Brown
And another
Note that this Meadow Brown has that feint second white spot in the black "eye", whereas the Meadow Browns above just have the single white spot.

A worn Ringlet.
A couple of Commas about. This one is on the buddleia in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
Small Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum)
One of the Andrena bee species. Even without the covering of pollen, that is probably as far as you can get with ID'ing this species.

Its been awhile since I saw my last Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata). This one was in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

This is a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) hanging below an Ash Tree by Rufus Castle. 
Not sure if this is the same one, but this/another one was on a buddleia the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
Ships Today
Here is the vehicles Carrier Lavender Ace, flying the flag of Panama. This ship is on its way from Portbury, England to an unknown destination. More on this vessel Here.
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24th July

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:07
Moths PBO Silver Y 20, Diamond-back Moth 6, Four-spotted Footman 2, Marbled Piercer 1, Bulrush Veneer 1, Rusty-dot Pearl 1, Gold Spot 1.

Back to the last few days for some photos: Curlews are regular enough visitors to Ferrybridge but they're sufficiently skittish/ill at ease there that they're rarely settled for long after dawn or much before dusk; this little group were present at dawn yesterday © Debby Saunders:  

The young Wheatears are still about at the Bill where they're now getting increasing mobile © Roger Hewitt:  

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