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Sightings - Sunday 5th August 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 08/05/2018 - 22:41
Common Scoter - 10 PortlandBalearic Shearwater - 8 today and 2 yesterday west past PortlandSpoonbill - 4 ArneOsprey - 1 ArneCurlew Sandpiper - 2 Holes BayCommon Sandpiper - 3 StanpitGreenshank - 2 Holloways Dock, Hengistbury Head Whimbrel - 2 Holloways Dock, Hengistbury Head Dunlin - 71 FerrybridgeKnot - 3 StanpitSanderling - 82 Stanpit, 6 PortlandYellow Wagtail - 9 over Stanpit, 1 Portland
Wheatear - 9 Portland, 1 Durlston
Whinchat - 6 Portland
Willow Warbler - 33 Portland
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 Portland
Pied Flycatcher - 6 Portland, I Weston, 1 Wyke Regis, Littlesea, 14 Portland yesterday, 2 Abbotsbury yesterday


Whimbrel at Hengistbury Head, copyright Clinton Whale


Greenshank at Hengistbury Head, copyright Clinton Whale

Note.
The elevated numbers of Osprey in Poole Harbour at present is due to the Osprey translocation scheme which is being carried out by the Birds of Poole Harbour charity and The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, for more information on this project follow the link below.
https://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/osprey-translocation-project-schools-summer
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5 Aug 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 08/05/2018 - 21:36
Out and About

Another busy day, mainly on the boat as Dawn and I apply the finishing touches to the upper deck. Over Ferrybridge 4 Sandwich Terns headed east, whilst on The Fleet there were a good 150+ small waders on the mud flats as the tide dropped away.

At home at Wakeham a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard calling, but sadly not seen.
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5th August

Portland Bird Observatory - Sun, 08/05/2018 - 20:18
The easterlies that succeeded so well yesterday in pushing migrants our way slowed somewhat, producing a steady trickle nonetheless. 6 Whinchats around the top fields were a first for the autumn, and Pied Flycatchers continued to pass through with 6 around the Bill. Other records included: a single Spotted Flycatcher, 33 Willow Warblers, 9 Wheatear and 2 Sedge Warblers. With the exception of an increase in Manx Shearwaters (171 this morning), the sea produced much the same as it has in recent days with: 8 Balearic Shearwaters, 10 Common Scoter, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Sanderling and 1 Bonxie. The upward trend of wader variety at Ferrybridge continued with: 71 Dunlin, 54 Ringed Plover, 6 Sanderling, 10 Turnstone, 1 Redshank, 6 Little Terns and 1 Yellow Wagtail. 
Moth records were reduced back to our regulars but numbers were decent: Silver Y 61, Dark Sword Grass 16, Diamond-back Moth 36, Rush Veenes 1. 
As the waders start rolling in so do the brilliant pictures from Pete and Debby Saunders, here's a selection from Pete of yesterday's events © Pete Saunders:




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18 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty: Whale Shark

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Sun, 08/05/2018 - 16:46
When I was reading previous trip reports of the Atlantic Odyssey, I was excited that the Odyssey had seen Whale Sharks on previous trips. Although Whale Sharks had been seen around St Helena on the previous three Odyssey trips (two in 2015, several in 2016 & a fin in 2017), there were also four trip reports where they hadn't been seen. Overall, the odds looked about even for seeing in St Helena waters. We were told that they appeared at St Helena a few months before the Odyssey, but our arrival was about the time they tended to depart. They are the largest living Fish in the world growing to 12 metres in length & are plankton eaters, so they are no threat to man. Only a few of the largest Whale species are bigger than them. They occur in all the Tropical & warm temperate seas of the world. They are mainly oceanic, however, there are a number of locations around the world where they occur regularly in numbers close to land including St Helena. It has been speculated that these occasions are part of the mating or pupping cycle, but neither event has ever been observed. There is still a lot that is not known about their movements & lifestyle. Seeing a Whale Shark has been one of my life's targets for around 20 years, after the Durlston Dolphin coordinator gave a talk about seeing & swimming with them in Belize. As we arrived in St Helena waters, there were a number of the passengers on the lookout for a Whale Shark. I was still surprised when a shout when up before we even reached the anchor point in Jamestown Bay that there was a Whale Shark on the Port side. To add to the largest animal that ever lived, Blue Whale, we were now watching the largest ever non Cetacean that is still alive. This Odyssey was continuing to look like it was going to be the most successful Odyssey that has been run.
Whale Shark: The initial view of a distinctively notched & pale spotted tail finWhale Shark: A better lit photograph helps to show the light & dark spots
Whale Shark: There is also a paler blue glow in the water where the body is stopping the darkness of the sea being seenWhale Shark: It is possible to see more of the end of the body as the tail fin drops below the waterWhale SharkWhale Shark: It's a pity that the underwater photos do not convey the full size & shape of the Whale Shark. This is an uncropped image which only just succeeded in getting the tail into the right hand side of the photo & the body to the leftWe did well for Whale Shark sightings around Jamestown Bay. Unfortunately, I missed the best sighting of the trip. While I was having lunch ashore on the first morning, a Whale Shark found found to be rubbing its body against the anchor chain. Those passengers who were on the ship were told they could dive in & swim with the Whale Shark if they wanted. It was all too much for one of the Belgium Birders, Olivier, who in his excitement grabbed his life vest from the cabin, which promptly inflated on entering the water. He suffered a lot of jokes at his expense as a result. There were a few great underwater photos of this Whale Shark being passed around that evening. There were another two sightings the following day, including one I found in the late afternoon. On the final morning, there was another sighting around the Plancius. As a result, I canned my free historical tour that I was booked on in the hope we would be allowed to get in the sea with this individual. We were allowed, but not until the last of the tour zodiacs had departed: by which time, the Whale Shark had departed. Still we had a good snorkle on the wreck of RFA Darkdale, which was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1941 with the loss of 41 crew. This was a very enjoyable substitute & I saw a Green Turtle feeding around the wreck, as well as, large numbers of Fish. There were a final two Whale Sharks seen as the Plancius was sailing away from St Helena on the last afternoon.
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4th August

Portland Bird Observatory - Sat, 08/04/2018 - 23:42
Mild easterly winds succeeded in pushing some of the flocks of East coast migrants our way. Early doors saw movements of flycatchers and warblers through the tops of the garden trees and the crown estate showed some early promise with the first net holding a Pied Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler and a Common Whitethroat.  Migrant totals for the day came to 64 Willow Warblers, 14 Pied Flycatchers, 3 Sedge Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 8 Sand Martins and 30 Swallows. Notable by their absence were yesterdays Swift flock with just 6 being recorded all day. The sea, once again, put on an average display with 5 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Common Scoter, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 1 Ringed Plover and 3 Turnstone.
A small level of excitement at Ferrybridge as the variety of waders increased this morning with: 1  Greenshank, 3 Sanderling, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Turnstone, 37 Ringed Plovers and 17 Dunlin. A single Yellow Wagtail was also of note, with a supporting cast of 5 Little Terns (2 juvs), 1 Sandwich Tern and 3 Yellow-legged Gulls
There was greater quantity if not quality of moths trapped in the previous night with 119 Diamond-back Moths, 42 Silver Y's, 21 Dark Sword Grass, 3 Rusty-dot Pearl and 1 Rush Veenes. 
This Scarce Silver Y from Debby Saunders in Southwell is a first record for Portland and probably for Dorset. Although there is a resident population within the UK, vagrants are likely to have come from populations further North © Debby Saunders:

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4 Aug 18

Martin Adlam - Sat, 08/04/2018 - 21:06
Wakeham

Another busy day in the back garden building a waterproof roof for the chickens, not that there's any rain on they way, but we must get some soon surely!

Lot of Small Whites on the Lavender along with several Honey Bees and a Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee. Also seen were a Pied Hoverfly, Marmalade Hoverfly and a Common Drone Fly, none of which stayed still long enough for a photo. One hoverfly that did stay still was a Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scriptaa).
Overhead 20+ Swifts drifted south, screaming away as they do and soon after a pair of Swallows passed through.

Here are a few photos from today:

One of the Honey Bees visiting the lavender........
.......and another on the Scabious.
Also the Scabious one of the resident Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees
On the Ragwort a Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scriptaa). I guess if your that long doing handstands is the only way to get to the nectar.
And the garden plot with a hanging banana which I hope will attract more Commas.
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Sightings - Saturday 4th August 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 08/04/2018 - 20:48
Garganey -1 juv Longham Lakes
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Spoonbill - 1 Stanpit Marsh, 4 Middlebere
Red Kite - 1 over Wick
Osprey - 5 Poole Hbr.
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 Fisherman's Bank, 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Common Sandpiper - 3 Christchurch Hbr.
Pied Flycatcher - 5 Lulworth Cove, 4 Abbotsbury Tropical Gardens, 3 Portland, 2 Lodmoor &1 Abbotsbury Swannery.
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18 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty: St Helena

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Sat, 08/04/2018 - 18:00
It was another morning when I was up early as we were due to arrive at St Helena & there was always the chance of Seabirds, Cetaceans & other goodies on our final approach to the island. All the islands we visited were volcanic in origin & had steep sides below the waterline. As such there is only a narrow coastal strip around each of the islands before the deep water commenced. This resulted in an abundance of food close to the islands & hence plenty of wildlife. So, it was always worth being up early to be looking from first light when arriving at a new island.
St Helena in the distance with an atmospheric sky: Just like Gough Island we traded blue skies at sea for cloudy skiesSt Helena: Looking to the rocky islands on the South West coastSt Helena mapThe first view of JamestownSt Helena has a number of steep valleysA close up of the white building in the valley bottom: This looks like a barrack block behind a protective wall left over from the Napoleonic era
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin: We saw several parties along the coastline, but unfortunately none were close. Still they put on a good welcome display
Pantropical Spotted DolphinPantropical Spotted DolphinPantropical Spotted DolphinPantropical Spotted Dolphin
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin: They are quite a dark Dolphin with a fairly long beak, a dark upper body at the front & a paler strip below
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin: The dark upper body curves down on the side of the body
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin: The dark upper body finally curves up & ends behind the narrow, sharply curved dorsal fin
St Helena is a largely flat island with deep valleys including the Jamestown valleyJamestown sits in a deep valleyNapoleonic gun emplacements protecting Jamestown: The RMS St Helena was the much loved passenger & supply ship for the island. With the airfield recently opened on St Helena, the UK government has cut the ship service & the locals are sad that the RMS St Helena left for the last time in Feb 18. This was the UK government's plan to cut the costs of replacing the RMS St Helena with a cargo only ship. Visitor are now expected to arrive & depart on the weekly plane service from Windhoek, Namibia. All sounding a great idea, but as four of our passengers found out the hard way, flights into St Helena can be cancelled due to strong winds & large planes cannot land full stop. But to be fair to the UK's Tory government, they weren't to know about the problems of these strong winds as the problem had only been known about since Charles Darwin detailed it on his Beagle voyage when he visited in 1836. Darwin wouldn't have written it up for several years after his visit. I doubt the consultants who would have been paid a lot to develop the airfield would have highlighted it, if it reduced the money they would make on the consultation
Another building by Jamestown
Looking to the right of Jamestown
This was a damp vegetated edge of cliff compared to the rest of the cliffs: Looks like a stream must run down here
Some of the quay buildings
The main quay office
Jamestown has kept its old quaint look
Our first Saints: We were not allowed ashore until the ship had cleared customs & had approval from a few other officials
We also had to have all the passports stamped for our visit
Having got our clearance, Hans from the expedition staff heads ashore to check the landing
Leon followed soon afterwards We were finally ready to head ashore by mid morning. There were a variety of trips laid on for us to sign up for, along with a free morning historical trip on the second or third mornings depending on which group we were in. However, they didn't begin until after lunch so we had a few hours to run ashore & have a general look around.
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3 Aug 18

Martin Adlam - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 22:30
Mermaid Track and Rufus Castle

What a strange walk this evening, I managed to find the pink Meadow Grasshopper in its usual spot, but as I walked down towards Rufus Castle it started to rain. Well so I thought!!

I wasn't expecting to see much this evening, but it was quite surprising to see so many Marmalade Hoverflies on the wing. Obviously they appreciate the cooler conditions as the sun started to drop. Also seen were a few "blue" butterflies rested up on the grasses and Blackberry bushes, where I also came across lots and I mean lots of micro moths.

However the rain got me. Having left the Mermaid Track I walked down towards the lookout at Rufus Castle and as I walked under a Sycamore tree, so I heard and felt rain drops dropping on and around me. The clouds had been creeping in from the West, but too high for rain and then I noticed lots of insects on the ground and also on Max our relations Westie.

What were they. They were flying ants and there were hundreds of them falling from the Sycamore above me. Needless to say I managed to get out from under the tree and into the open pretty smartish. The funny thing was, a few metres back up the track I came across an ants nest that was absolutely deserted, apart from a couple of small entrances and a single flying ant.

The queen ants falling from the Sycamore were a lot smaller than the single queen ant I found at the nest, but as to what species they were I have no idea. Certainly a first for me having ants raining down on me!!

Here are a few images from this evening:

Just behind the old Mermaid Pub a scrawny juvenile Magpie.
So many Marmalade hoverflies out this evening.
And here it is again the pink Meadow Grasshopper.
I even managed to get right up close to it.......
......and take a short video of it.
A pair of "blue" butterflies.
This is quite a decent size ants nest and last year it exploded with hundreds of flying ants. This year....
........just a few small entrances in one corner of the nest.........
......and just one queen making an appearance.
However just a few metres down the track there were hundreds of flying ants falling from a Sycamore tree with a few landing on Max.

So many of these micro moths on the wing. Just a few millimetres long, I have yet to ID them. 
Honeysuckle........
........in fruit.
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3rd August

Portland Bird Observatory - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:38
With the temperature seeming to skyrocket today, it could have easily been written off as another baking day with no birds. However, two factors went in our favour 1. Its August. 2. Today was an Ant day and the swirling masses of flying ants generated quite the frenzy amongst all the insectivorous visitors (and the ever opportunistic Gulls). As a result, this afternoons Swift flock reached over 250 birds, Hirundines followed with over 100 Swallows, 21 Sand Martins and 5 House Martins. The migrant front was looking more promising with a Reed Warbler in the crown estate, an unringed Pied Flycatcher at the Obs, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Wheatear in the top fields, 4 Sedge Warblers and 5 Willow Warblers. A Little-ringed Plover was also sighted over Blacknor to add to the species tallies. The Sparrowhawks seem to have had a successful year with our regular orange-chested male appearing with an adult female and two juvs (a male and a female) to terrorise the Linnet flock which is now over 300 strong in the top fields. 
The sea was far from eventful today with final totals coming to just 11 Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 Black-headed Gull, 5 Mediterranean Gulls and 1 apiece of Manx Shearwater and Balearic Shearwater. Ferrybridge also maintained a steady rate with 1 Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 5 Turnstone and 4 Little Terns.
There was some excitement on the Moth front as a probable Jersey Mocha was trapped. Besides this, the regulars included 19 Silver Y, 4 Dark Sword Grass, 1 Rusty-dot Pearl and 2 Diamond-back Moths. 
The soaring flock of Swifts produced a great deal of entertainment as they banked and glided after their winged prey. Unfortunately there were no white bellies among them ©Erin Taylor:

A Pied Flycatcher in the early morning sun should be enough to get anyone out of bed ©Erin Taylor:

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Sightings - Friday 3rd August 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:37
Garganey - 3 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 juv Longham Lakes
Spoonbill - 5 Middlebere
Wood Sandpiper - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 Lytchett Field's RSPB
Osprey - 5 Poole Hbr.

Greenshank - Holloway's Dock Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale

Whimbrel - Holloway's Dock Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale


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Sightings - Thursday 2nd August 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:32
Manx Shearwater - 7 Portland Bill
Balearic Shearwater - 2 Portland Bill
Purple Heron - 1 juv Littlesea Studland
Spoonbill - 5 Middlebere, 2 Christchurch Hbr.
Osprey - 3 Poole Hbr seen various locations
Whimbrel - 8 Stanpit Marsh, 5 Brand's Bay
Ruff - 2 over Hengistbury Hd.
Spotted Redshank - 2 Christchurch Hbr.
Arctic Skua - 1 Portland Bill
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Portland Bill, 1 Sturminster Marshal GP.
Yellow Wagtail - 1 Portland Bill

Sandwich Tern - Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale
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Sightings - Wednesday 1st August 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:21
Garganey - 1 meadow pool Abbotsbury Swannery
Manx Shearwater - 13 Portland Bill
Balearic Shearwater - 5 Portland Bill
Cattle Egret - 1 Middlebere
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Purple Heron - 1 juv Littlesea Studland
Spoonbill - 5 Middlebere
Osprey - 1 over Littlesea Fleet p.m, 1 Lytchett Bay
Whimbrel - 19 Christchurch Hbr.
Spotted Redshank - 2 Middlebere
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Studland NNR.

Linnet Hengistbury Head © David Wareham



Turnstone - Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale
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2nd August

Portland Bird Observatory - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:08
Autumn is creeping upon us slowly with a couple of notable additions to our migrant totals. The first addition of the morning came when a Pied Flycatcher stumbled into the garden nets, much to the delight of the mornings onlookers. A minimum of 4 Sedge Warblers in the crown estate fields were an improvement on recent tallies. The Obs garden has also hosted a small selection of warblers: 5 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. A flyover Yellow Wagtail and Ringed Plover added a little zest to the mornings proceedings on the land and a skulking Reed Warbler at Culverwell was only the second for the autumn. The increasingly hot afternoon turned up little other than a pair of Willow Warblers at Culverwell, 6 Sand Martins and 38 Swifts. On top of the usual suspects during the morning sea watch (11 Common Scoter, 7 Manx Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater and 11 Yellow-legged Gulls) there was a notable passage of c.250 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Shelducks and a pale-phase Arctic Skua amongst the regular Gull flock.

A juvenile Merlin at Ferrybridge, a first for the autumn, also produced some excitement, although counts from the rest of the site were low in comparison with recent days: 3 Sanderling, 1 Redshank, 1 Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Little Terns.

Moths were extremely quiet, with a very poor night for migration providing just 6 Silver Y's and 1 Rusty-dot Pearl.

We have been tracking the reports of Pied Flycatchers as they have travelled down through the country across the last couple of weeks, it was a very welcome surprise to see our first today ©Erin Taylor:

This highly unusual Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelusax is suffering from erythrism, a genetic trait similar to albinism. It is expressing a larger than normal amount of red pigment resulting in a pink grasshopper! The fact it has made it to this stage of life is remarkable given its increased chances of being predated, a wonderful find ©Martin Adlam:


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2 Aug 18

Martin Adlam - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 20:03
Ferrybridge Boat Yard.

A busy day painting Star our Tamar boat. Its getting there slowly. Sadly not a lot of birding, but I did have 2 Sandwich Terns "screaming" over my head as they passed over the yard into Portland Harbour. Also noted were dozens of Mediterranean Gulls following the terns in the same direction. On the mudflats a few noisy Oystercatchers.

In the boatyard there were 3 Linnets, 3 Starlings (2 adults and a juvenile) and the resident Pied Wagtail. Overhead a couple of Swallows and a Swift heading south.


The 2 adults and juvenile Starlings watching over us as we paint the boat.
Getting there. Roof done.
And now the Cabin.
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Southern migrant hawker dragonflies recorded for the first time in Dorset

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:47

The first Southern migrant hawker dragonflies ever recorded in Dorset have been seen on Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT’s) nature reserve, Lytchett Heath, which is part of The Great Heath Living Landscape project in east Dorset.

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1st August

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 22:43
It would appear that no one has reminded the birds of Portland that its almost Autumn as migrant numbers remained low, however the trapping of another Sedge Warbler and Skylark were enough to keep the ringers entertained for a brief spell. The sea continued to be of interest with a constant supply of Gulls and Shearwaters (if not in large numbers). 
Portland Bill Sedge Warbler 2, Willow Warbler 8, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Sand Martin 4, Snipe 1, Swift 17, Chiffchaff 1. 
Portland Bill Seawatch Yellow-legged Gull 16, Balearic Shearwater 5, Manx Shearwater 13, Mediterranean Gull 150 +, Kittiwake 8, Black-headed Gull 2, Turnstone 1, Sandwich Tern 2.
Ferrybridge Sanderling 1, Redshank 1, Mediterranean Gull 80 (38 juveniles). 
Moths Silver Y 5, Diamond-back Moth 5, Rusty-dot Pearl 3, Dark Sword Grass 3. 
A little taster of the spectacle that was yesterdays Mediterranean Gull flock! © Debby Saunders:

This Sanderling was obviously finding plenty of tasty morsels among the muddy pools at Ferrybridge despite the deluge of avifauna the previous day © Pete Saunders: 

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1 Aug 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 22:34
Wakeham

Late afternoon I was in the back garden and came across an interesting bumblebee with a bright yellow head and red tail. Turns out it was a male Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius). Nothing unusual I know, except I don't recall ever seeing a male before.

Also seen was a male Common Darter, Common Carder Bee, Common Wasp, a Eupeodes sp. Hoverfly and a I believe a Southern Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum).
Common Wasp
A male Red-tailed Bumblebee
Another view
And one more  
Common Carder Bumblebee
Southern Bronze Furrow Bee
As above
And again.
A Eupeodes sp. hoverfly
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

What an interesting walk this afternoon. My main highlight should really have been the Wall Brown I found along the Mermaid Track. A butterfly I've not seen for a good month or more. However the prize has to go to a grasshopper, and not just any old grasshopper, but a pink Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus).

I couldn't find an explanation for the genetic mutation for a Common Field Grasshopper, but here is an extract from the National Geographic for a Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelusax), which states "It is called erythrism an unusual and little-understood genetic mutation caused by a recessive gene similar to that which affects albino animals. This mutation results in one of two things happening or even a combination of the two; a reduce or even absence of the normal pigment and/or the excessive production of other pigments, in this case red which results in pink morphs". More Here

Also seen were 4 Migrant Hawkers in the grounds of St Andrews Church where it must be said is turning into an amazing oasis for many insects. Also here (but not photographed ) were a Pellucid Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens), a male Common Darter and a Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Butterflies seen today were Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Comma, Common Blue and Chalk Hill Blue.

A few moths seen today where the Silver Y's outnumbered the Six-spot Burnet moths, 6 to 1. Can't believe I only found 1 Six-spot Burnet. Also seen on a Sycamore leaf a Tortrix sp.

Also recorded was a possible Zebra back spider (Salticus scenicus) was new for me, a Great Green Bush Cricket (Tettigonia viridissima), a black bee sp. and a mystery hoverfly to ID.

Here are few images from today in order that I took them:

Gatekeeper
Small Garden Bumblebee, Bombus hortorum
A "blue" butterfly
Just the one Six-spot Burnet moth seen today. Where have all the others gone!
A "blue" butterfly
A real treat to find this pink Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus).
And one its original colours.
It's been quite awhile since I've seen a Wall Brown. This one was along the Mermaid Track flying from one rock to another.

A Great Green Bush Cricket
A very worn and pale Speckled Wood
Another Gatekeeper.
A "blue" butterfly.
The thistle it's on is a Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris)
On the plant in front of the Carline is I think a jumping spider possibly a Zebra back spider (Salticus scenicus).
Tortrex sp.
As above
A Wall Lizard and its prey, an unsuspecting fly on the right.
Close-up.
One of the 4 Migrant Hawkers in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
A Meadow Brown.
As above.
A real good close-up of another Migrant Hawker.
And full view.
A "blue" butterfly
Do you know I have no idea what this bee is.
Another view of it!
A Tapered Drone Fly
Another mystery insect.......
.....I'm pretty sure its a hoverfly.
As to what, well a bit of research is needed.
Another Small Garden Bumblebee, Bombus hortorum.
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Reports of interest, Tuesday 31st July 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:04
Manx Shearwater - 42 Portland Bill.
Balearic Shearwater - 3 Portland Bill.
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor.
Black Kite - an unconfirmed sighting over Slepe Heath this morning.
Whimbrel - 1 Ferrybridge, 1 Holloway's Dock (Hengistbury), 7 Stanpit.
Green Sandpiper - 1 Lodmoor.
Common Sandpiper - 3 Ferrybridge, 6+ Lodmoor, 2 Stanpit.
Greenshank - 2 Holloway's Dock (Hengistbury).
Sedge Warbler - 7 Lodmoor, 3 Portland Bill.
Lesser Whitethroat - 3 Lodmoor, 1 Portland Bill.

Mediterranean Gull at Radipole © David Wareham
Whimbrel at Holloway's Dock © Clinton Whale
Greenshank at Holloway's Dock © Clinton Whale 
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31st July

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 21:37
We seem to be heading firmly back into summer, although a touch of autumn could be felt with the arrival of a smattering of migrants. Todays highlight came in the form of a mega-flock of Mediterranean Gulls at Ferrybridge, including a large proportion of juveniles. The moth traps remained uneventful but a Six-belted Clearwing  represented a possible first for the Obs garden.

Portland Bill Willow Warbler 8, Swift 6, Sand Martin 4, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Sedge Warbler 3.

Portland Bill Seawatch Manx Shearwater 42, Balearic Shearwater 3, Common Scoter 1, Yellow-legged Gull 7, Mediterranean Gull 5, Kittiwake 18, Black-headed Gull 2, Sandwich Tern 2, Guillemot 1, Curlew 2.

Ferrybridge Common Sandpiper 3, Curlew 2, Turnstone 2, Whimbrel 1, Grey Heron 1, Yellow-legged Gull 3, Mediterranean Gull 1230 (420 juveniles).

Moths Silver Y 8, Rusty-dot Pearl 2, Diamond-back Moth 9, Six-belted Clearwing 1.

There's nothing that spices up hanging out the washing like finding a Six-belted Clearwing on the wall of the Obs. Although relatively abundant on Portland, it is usually only with the help of a pheromone lure that one gives itself up © Erin Taylor:


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