Portland Bird Observatory and Quarry
Talk about the one that got away, and it wasn't a bird, but a possible Monarch
butterfly which I might have seen, had I not been staring into the Obs Quarry at Lesser Whitethroat. As it most likely flew in off the sea, it came across the land and into the Obs garden. Here 3 birders caught a glimpse of a large orange bat-like creature flying purposefully across in front of them and then to the north of the Obs where sadly they lost sight of it. Now that would have been something special.
As it was I spent a good 40 minutes peering into the Obs Quarry and managed 3 Blackcaps
(2 males/1 female) & a Lesser Whitethroat
. Also here 2 squabbling male Blackbirds
and a juvenile. A couple of Red Admirals
were spotted along with a Comma
, but sadly not the Monarch
At around 5:00pm 200+ Swallows
and House Martins
flew over the quarry and headed straight out to sea. Soon after that 5 Pied Wagtails
and a party of Meadow Pipits
also flew past.
Here are few images:
A female Blackcap............
............and one of the males.
..........another male Blackcap.
And the same one as above with an Elderberry in its beak.
And another shot of it again.Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood
The weather was much the same as yesterday afternoon, but considerably less windy. Main highlights this afternoon were the dozens of Swallows
, House Martins
and Sand Martins
heading south over Penn's Weare, where there was also my first Redpoll
of the Autumn. Not so many Chiffchaffs
, Willow Warblers
were seen today.
Other highlights were 4 Red Admirals
, 2 Large Whites
and a first for me on Portland an Agriphila geniculea
). Thank you to Steve Covey for the confirmation.
Also noted was the increased number of Harlequin Ladybirds
, which are spreading out rapidly from the top of Penn's Wood. Today I found a few along the Mermaid Track, in the grounds of St Andrew's Church and now at the bottom of Penns Wood.
I even had an almost spotless orange ladybird, with two very light black spots on its wings. After investigating further it turns out its a 10-Spot Ladybird
), a specimen which is totally different in looks than my first one on Portland on 11 Apr
this year. And for the first time in a very long time I came across another ladybird this time a 7-spot
). None for ages and then two on the trot.
The Ivy Bees
are still out in force and the number of wasps
which are on all the Ivy bushes is incredible. There are hundreds about and I'm now pretty sure that they aren't all Common Wasps
, as many are very small. As to what they could be I've no idea. Another wasp found today was an European Paper Wasp
Lots of grasshoppers
about plus a male Long Winged Cone-head
), which was in the grass along the Mermaid Track, where I have this species a few times before.
Here are a few images from this afternoon:
The Mermaid Track which through up some interesting insects this afternoon......
Having seen so many varieties of Harlequin Ladybirds, I had this down as another. Something didn't quite add up and on further investigation it turns out that it is a 10-spot Ladybird. It certainly pays to check.
This is a 7-spot and with the 10-spot above are the first Ladybirds I've come across for a long time.
Then a very tiny bee........
.........and another. I suspect it's a "sweat" bee, but I'm not 100% sure. It wasn't until I got home and was editing this image that I noticed another invertebrate on the right. Possibly a Shieldbug!
Also down the track an European Paper Wasp (Polistes Dominula
And finally a male Long Winged Cone-head (Conocephalus fuscus
Down at the Observation Area, Rufus Castle, the Ivy was buzzing again with dozens of wasps.........
......and Ivy Bees.
And another shot.
In Penn's Weare (my slight detour) I came across what I believe is a Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus
). I always thought grasshoppers were easy to identify, but like many other invertebrates they can differ in size, colour and pattern.
This is straightforward, a Wall Lizard with a new tail.............
.............and a nice close up of its head.
A couple of these Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria
) seen today. This one in the grounds of St Andrew's Church and another along the Mermaid Track.
One of the 4 Red Admirals on the wing today.
One of the grass moths a Agriphila geniculea
. My first for Portland
A Common Carder Bee on a buddleia.
And finally more Harlequins, showing the variation in colours and patterns.
And the last one.Birds Recorded today
, Herring Gull
, Great Black-backed Gull
, Wood Pigeon
, Sand Martin
, House Martin
, Meadow Pipit
, 1 Grey Wagtail
, Willow Warbler
, Great Tit
, Blue Tit
, Carrion Crow
, House Sparrow
, Common Redpoll