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The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 02-07-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:43
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Reports of interest, Monday 2nd July 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:08
Spoonbill - 1 Brownsea Island.
Marsh Harrier - 1 Lodmoor.
Hobby - 1 Holt Heath.
Common Sandpiper - 1 Hengistbury Head sandspit.
Cuckoo - 1 Radipole Lake.

Young Jackdaws at Bournemouth Hospital © Clinton Whale
Common Tern at Lodmoor © Clive Hargrave
Common Tern at Lodmoor © Clive Hargrave
Lapwing at Lodmoor © Clive Hargrave
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

We're Back.

Two Owls Birding - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 20:25
Hi everyone, well Jackie and I have returned from our holiday in France which was one of those kind of up and down type holidays.  There will be more on that later but for now, we have had a few walks which have been interesting in different ways.
Our first venture out after our return was with our Tuesday group on 26th at Sugar Hill, Wareham Forest.  This is a location where almost anything can turn up though it is more of a general nature walk at this time of year and indeed it did turn into a bit of a Butterfly and Odonata walk.  Though we picked up all the usual forest bird species that you would find in June with Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit and the ever present Siskins calling overhead, plus good view of Common Buzzard perched and soaring also displaying overhead.  A Green Woodpecker gave us a good show and we heard siskin flying overhead and around us almost continuously throughout our walk.Scarlet Tiger Moth-Sugar Hill_Wareham Forest ©Nick HullIt was the Butterflies and Dragonflies that caught everyones attention from the start.  We had Small and Green-veined Whites, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Small and Common Blue and shortly after we started to pick up Silver-studded Blues in profusion, it appears they have had a very good year. Keeled Skimmer male and female and one of my favourites the large Golden-ringed Dragonfly cruised by us as it searched for its insect pray.  I then picked up a Scarlet Tiger flying across the path and fortunately it landed on a pine and everyone had a chance of seeing this super looking moth, equal in beauty to any butterfly in my opinion.   Ann found a couple of Bee Orchid spikes almost hidden in the long grass and we continued with more butterflies with Ringlet, Peacock, Red Admiral and we ended the walk with the appearance of the butterfly of the day two Silver-washed Fritillaries.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly-male Sugar Hill ©Nick HullOur next walk with our Wednesday group was in the New Forest, on reflection it was more a day of quality that quantity which made it a really super walk.  We began with Goldcrest and Coal Tit singing in the parking area then quickly follow with Song Thrush and Stonechat the latter species we kept coming across and seemed to have had a successful breeding season so far with many family parties being seen.  Linnets and Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Wren and Common Buzzard soon followed.

We then went through a patch of butterflies and dragonflies finding many Silver-studded Blues, Small Heath and Common Blue backed up with Emperor dragonfly, Four-Spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, and Keeled Skimmers.  There were also, Beautiful Demoiselle, Azure Blue and Large Red Damselflies.
Male Keeled Skimmer © Jackie HullContinuing on we had singing Reed Bunting and Willow Warblers, these were usurped by watching more distantly a Honey Buzzard and for good comparison a Common Buzzard. Moving on we heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker and then saw Redstart fly across our path,  then a flyover Peregrine and it was while watching this speedy falcon that Jackie called "Sparrowhawk" then with quick realisation  said "No"! I quickly checked where she was looking and to my surprise there in my bins was a Honey Buzzard doing a little wing clapping and then it soared more or less over us, before moving off, a wonderful bird.
Honey Buzzard © Nick Hull Archive photographWe followed this with a sighting of three Woodlark which kindly flew up and perched long enough for us to get good views before they moved off again further out into the heath.  We hadn't walked far when a Spotted Flycatcher put on a little show for us before we moved through an area of mature Oak. Here I picked up our first Silver-washed Fritillary on the year a super looking butterfly followed further on we by Large Skipper. As we walked over the stream we could here Blackcap, Willow Warbler and a Tree Pipit singing and another fifty metres Jackie found the Tree Pipit at the top of a dead tree, we finished our walk watching a small feeding flock of adult and immature Swallows fly catching over the heath.

-----
Our third walk was an evening walk on the 30th at Martin Down, just into Hampshire an excellent chalk downland which is superb for butterflies, orchids and birds.

We started very quickly getting one of our target birds when Fran found a singing Turtle Dove at the top of a tree further up the trail, we quickly followed with birds flying and others singing. Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Song Thrush and Dunnock were a quickly checked off.
Turtle Dove © Nick Hull archive photographThen we had a cluster of butterflies with Large Skipper, Marbled and Green-veined Whites, Meadow Brown then Jackie found a group of Small Skippers starting to go to roost.  Our next sighting was a brief one as a male Sparrowhawk popped over the hedge and very quickly past us and was gone in an instant.  We continued with butterflies with Ringlet and a Green Hairstreak many of the butterflies were going to find evening roosts.  Turtle Dove were all now singing from a number of areas which I think everyone enjoyed as its not a sound that we hear much these days.
Large Skipper © Jackie HullOn our return we added few bird species but Corn Bunting, Skylark and a single Grey Partridge which was heard and later seen flying low over the Down disappearing into the long grass.  it was then we started picking up Dark-green Fritillary a stunning grassland butterfly.  Shortly after we began to see Scarlet Tiger moths not the odd one or two but many, obviously we had hit on a large emergence of this stunning moth.  Blackcap, Starlings more Turtle Doves and Wood Pigeon were seen or heard to the backdrop of Skylark on a beautiful evening.

We only had a single dip on the evening our first time in probably five years of visiting here at this time of year the Barn Owl didn't show.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

30 Jun 18 - An Island Dragon

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 16:35
I'm sure there are plenty of early maps with Dragons on remote islands & the plan for the weekend to go Dragon hunting on an island. The sun was shining & it was baking hot. I left early to ensure I didn't get held up with traffic & arrived just after 9:15 for the 10:00 pelagic. I was due to meet mate Gav MacLean just before the start of the pelagic, but I had a last minute text that South West trains had chosen not to do joined up thinking & hold his Brockenhurst connection for a minute to allow him to join me. Better to leave 30 passengers on the platform than wait a minute for them. After handing over a small fortune I was off Dragon hunting on my own. But first there was a pelagic.
The start of the Hampshire pelagic goes past a Tern & Gull colony: Unfortunately, no golden-billed Royal Terns with them todayHurst Castle: Given it's Hampshire it is not up to the standard of Florida's Dry Tortugas for Birding. I'm surprised that the Brexit camp haven't started refortifying it again keep the Frenchies outThe Needles: The other Western gateway to the Solent
Fort Albert: Having been completed in 1856 to help protect the Solent from attack by Napoleon III, it was obsolete soon after. However, the military didn't finally leave until 1957. It has now been converted to private flatsThe pelagic was over after just 40 minutes as the ferry pulled into Yarmouth: One Gannet on the IoW side was the highlightYarmouth Castle cannonIt was a 2 mile walk to Bouldnor Forest, the Dragon site: Fortunately, I avoided the guarding Red SquirrelsAfter about 45 minutes, I arrived at a clearing in Bouldnor Forest & started looking for the Dragonfly pools. There were a number of medium to large interesting looking pools surrounded by knee high vegetation. I spent an hour looking around them. However, they were far too open to be the pools I was interested in. My target for the day was the recently arrived Southern Emerald Damselfly. They were first found in Norfolk in 2002 & have been recorded at a few sites on the East coast of East Anglia & Kent. I was discussing with my mate Edge about looking for them this year in Kent & Edge said they had recently been discovered at a site on the Western end of the Isle of Wight. He was planning to go over with Gav this summer. Unfortunately, Edge wasn't available this particular weekend. Gav was still up for going & with two of us heading over, our chances of seeing them would be increased by having more eyes looking. Pity South West Trains had other ideas. We didn't have a lot to go on other than local Dragonfly photographer Peter Hunt's excellent Blog http://isleofwightdragons.blogspot.com. This is a great blog with lots of good photos of the Island's Dragonflies & other wildlife. The blog showed photos of the two heavily overgrown breeding pools that Peter had seen the Southern Emerald Damselflies around. It was Peter's photographs of the Southern Emerald Damselflies that allowed a sharp-eyed Dragonfly records officer at the British Dragonfly Society to identify them as a new species for the Isle of Wight in 2017. Subsequent checks through Peter's photographs confirmed that they had been present since 2015. Unlike the Kent & Norfolk populations of Southern Emerald Damseflies which are best looked for during the school holidays, the IoW ones are on the wing in June. So it was getting towards the end of their season, especially given how hot & dry the last few weeks have been.
Emperor Dragonfly: Female egg laying Broad-bodied Chaser: Male
Emerald Damselfly: Teneral. I saw about a dozen Emerald Damselflies
Water Strider: This is the largest UK Pond Skater & favours still water
Water Strider: Their large size & the presence of two upturned spurs at the end of the abdomen makes this easier to identify than most of the other Pond Skaters. Only the left hand spur is visible in this photo Interesting as the pools were with many Dragonflies, I knew I still had to keep looking to find the right pools.
The smaller of the two pools: Virtually dried up so I assume that Southern Emerald Damselflies are able to lay eggs which can survive for a number of months without waterFinally, I stumbled on the smaller of the two pools, just as Gav was arriving after catching the ferry an hour after my ferry. Gav headed off to check the other pools. I carried on looking & soon after found the other pool with somebody else there. Not surprisingly it was Peter Hunt who had arrived between Gav & myself, but he had gone straight to the breeding pools. I called Gav over as Peter had seen one individual, but when we looked it had moved on.
The larger of the two pools: Even more dried up. I guess being able to survive until the next rains fill the pools up helps to cut down the competition for food & being eaten by other Dragonfly larvaSouthern Emerald Damselfly: My initial view
Southern Emerald Damselfly: Getting better. The two-tone pterostigma are one of the features for Southern Emerald Damselflies Southern Emerald Damselfly: The wings are typically held at 45 degrees to the body. Note, the reddish colouration in the wings is purely the way the light is catching the wingsSouthern Emerald Damselfly: Close up showing the pale sides to the thorax & the pale patch at the back of the head which are also important featuresSouthern Emerald Damselfly: Close up of the two-tone pterostigma (Emerald Damselflies have uniform dark pterostigma)Southern Emerald Damselfly: The second individualSouthern Emerald Damselfly: Close up of the head & thoraxSouthern Emerald Damselfly: The second individualSouthern Emerald Damselfly: All Dragonflies & Damselflies are amazing close up. You wouldn't want to meet them if you were a small InsectSouthern Emerald Damselfly: At last a better photoSouthern Emerald Damselfly: Close up of the head & shoulders markingsSouthern Emerald Damselfly: Close up of the two-tone pterostigmaIt had been a good day trip seeing my last regularly breeding English Dragonfly. I have just got to see Dainty Damselfly if they get pinned down again, all the the Scottish Dragonflies & a few more vagrants.
Southern Hawker: Male perched up along the track back to the road
I had expected the pelagic back was going to be pretty quiet, so the lure of a coffee & cake got the better of me after several hours in the strong sun. However, as the final photo showed it threw up a surprise find.
I didn't expect to see a Jackass type Penguin as we left Yarmouth
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 01-07-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 15:21
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

2 Jul 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 14:44
Bottom Combe Quarry

I tried again for the Large Tortoiseshell this afternoon, and missed it again. It was only when I got home and met up with one of my neighbours, that he told me he had seen it this morning. Apparently Bottom Combe is one of his daily walks and he had met a lepidopterist there, who was photographing it at around 8:30am.
Well I did give it a good go, along with Mike Gibbons and his wife, but apart from Mike spotting a Small Tortoiseshell (which I missed), all we could find were Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, Lulworth Skippers, 2 Speckled Woods, Large White, several Small Blues and a Red Admiral.
Also recorded were several Six-spot Burnet moths, 3 Silver Y moths and my first Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena trifolii) on Portland.
Other invertebrates seen were Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis), Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva), a 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) and a Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax)
Here are few images from this afternoon:
Marbled White
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Small Blue
Red Admiral
What I thought was the Large Tortoiseshell, turned out to be a Speckled Wood. But what was that large butterfly that took off close by!!
Another Speckled Wood.
I cant believe its taken me over a year to record my first Five-spot Burnet moth on Portland.
A male Swollen-thighed Beetle and courting Common Red Soldier Beetles
A 7-spot Ladybird
A Common Drone Fly.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

2nd July

Portland Bird Observatory - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 05:28
A rain shower at dawn was a novelty and for the most part the day remained doggedly overcast and increasingly humid. An orange-billed tern - suspected as being a reappearance of the American Royal Tern - seen briefly on the falling tide at Ferrybridge caused panic once the news circulated but couldn't be found during subsequent searches. The day's only other reports were of 25 Mediterranean Gulls, 20 Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover and a Sanderling at Ferrybridge, a new Chiffchaff at the Bill and 50 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Common Scoter, 4 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Mediterranean Gulls lingering or through off the Bill.
A Large Tortoiseshell (together with at least 1 Hummingbird Hawkmoth) showed for a while during the afternoon at Bottomcombe.

Andy Dyball came up trumps at Bottomcombe with Portland's first Large Tortoiseshell since the series of nine records in 2007 © Martin Cade:


Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Reports of interest, Sunday 1st July 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 23:07
Quail - 1 calling Charminster/Charlton Down area.
Grey Plover - 1 Stanpit.
Little Ringed Plover - 1 Ferrybridge.
Whimbrel - 3 Stanpit.
Common Sandpiper - 1 Stanpit.
Spotted Flycatcher - 4 Wareham Forest.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

1 Jul 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 19:40
Bottomcombe Quarry

News was out that a Large Tortoiseshell had been seen and photographed along the path above the old railway track somewhere along here at around 1:30pm.

Within a few minutes of the news I was there walking up and down the path and old railway track. Sadly I couldn't locate it, so I gave up and went home.

It was only later that I found out that it was seen a few minutes after I'd got home at around 3:15pm and then again at 4:30pm. Just my luck. More Here and Here.

I might have missed out on a real rarity, but I did record several Gatekeepers, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, a Speckled Wood, a Large White, a Green-veined White and 2 Small Blues. Also a Silver Y moth

On the way back home I came across a Slow Worm.

The old railway track just south of Tesco's.
and looking south.
One of many Marbled Whites here.
Another
And another.
Quite a few Gatekeepers here.
The two spots in the black "eye" are a useful to identification.
A possible confusing species to a Gatekeeper, a Meadow Brown.
They generally only have one white spot in the black "eye". However, on occasion, a lighter second white spot can be seen.
No confusing a Ringlet.
And a shot you don't normally get, is with the wings wide open. Well partially in this case.
A Small Blue butterfly. And believe me it is small.
One of the Mason Bees maybe.
A Fly sp.
A Slow Worm which I just spotted in the undergrowth as it made its way along the bottom of a hedgerow.
Mermaid Track and Rufus Castle.

The 1st July and the first day for a very long time that we had cloud cover and a few spots of rain. However it was pretty humid and even with a onshore breeze, the temperature was still in the early 20's.

A late morning walk and a few butterflies about with 2 Gatekeepers, several Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Large Skippers, Small Skippers, Large Whites and a Red Admiral.

Also about dozens of Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees and a few Common Carder Bees on a large patch of Ribbed Melilot (Melilotus officinalis).
Other bugs and beasties included a German Scorpionfly (Panorpa germanica), A male Swollen-thighed Beetle, a Potter Wasp and dozens of nymph Southern Green Shieldbugs (Nezara viridula)
Here are few images from today:

Marbled White
Gatekeeper
And another
A Potter Wasp
As above.
Common Soldier Beetle
Southern Green Shieldbug nymphs
And again.
Busy nymphs
A Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee on Ribbed Melilot (Melilotus officinalis).
German Scorpionfly
And again
A male Swollen-thighed Beetle.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 30-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 11:44
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

30th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 22:28
The day's only reports were of 5 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Common Scoter and 3 Black-headed Gulls through off the Bill.

Little Tern at Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders...

...and it looks to be bunny for supper for the baby Buzzards © Pete Saunders: 
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

30 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 21:52
Tout Quarry

Just a flying visit to Tout Quarry this afternoon, to see if I could track down the Grayling butterflies there. And I managed three, in exactly the same two spots I recorded them a couple of days ago.

Also about were Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Large White, lots of Ringlets & Meadow Browns, Marbled White, 1 Red Admiral, a Speckled Wood and 4 "blue" butterflies.

A few moths about with several Six-spot Burnet moths, 2 Scarlet Tiger (Callimorpha dominula), a beautifully coloured Rosy-striped Knot-horn (Oncocera semirubella) and a plume moth sp.. Unfortunately a couple of walkers put the latter up as I was about to photograph it.

I know not why, but why is that the only Common Darters I keep finding are all females!! They are certainly "common" on Portland as this the third spot I have come across one.

Also recorded: Great Green Bush-cricketMeadow Cricket, Common Soldier Beetles, Swollen-thighed BeetlesTiger Cranefly (Nephrotoma flavescens), dozens of Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees and a mason bee sp. maybe!
Here are a few images from today
Tout Quarry. Famous for its sculptures and well worth a visit for the number of butterfly species here.
This area was great for Graylings, next to the "Still Falling" sculpture
One of the three Graylings here today.
Lots of Meadow Browns.
They are certainly very numerous on Portland.
A Speckled Wood
Still plenty of Marbled Whites on the wing.
What a difficult butterfly to photograph. Always on the wing apart from this one. A Ringlet.
A female Large Skipper
A Scarlet Tiger, a new moth for me on Portland..
Six-spot Burnet Moth
A beautifully coloured Rosy-striped Knot-horn (Oncocera semirubella). As I knelt down to photograph it, it flew up onto my hand.
Another female Common Darter. where are all the males!!
A Tiger Cranefly
Great Green Bush-cricket, Tettigonia viridissima
Another angle
Meadow Cricket
In the left corner a Swollen-thighed Beetle and in the right a Common Soldier Beetle.
A mason bee maybe.
Lovely to hear a male Robin singing away in the quarry.
Note: Yesterday evening as I was checking the chickens I heard at least 2 Common Cranes calling. Try as I could, I couldn't locate them. Was someone watching cranes on a Nature programme or were there a couple of birds flying overhead. I guess I'll never know!!
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

Reports of interest, Saturday 30th June 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 21:37
Grey Plover - 1 Stanpit.
Common Sandpiper - 1 Longham Lakes.
Greenshank - 4 Stanpit.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 29-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 08:30
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

29th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 23:19
Just as we thought it was safe to say that spring passage really had ended so yet another tardy singing Reed Warbler pitched up at the Obs today. With the weather still feeling anything but fresh and spring-like - the lack of rainfall is becoming quite a concern on several fronts, not least for the wellbeing of our sacrificial crops that are looking worryingly impoverished and hardly likely to be harbouring a wealth of autumn migrants in a few weeks time - the day's sightings were otherwise of routine summer/early autumn fare: 4 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Ringed Plover were at Ferrybridge, 30 Swifts passed through over the Bill and 16 Black-headed Gulls, 14 each of Mediterranean Gull and commic tern, 11 Common Scoter and 10 Manx Shearwaters passed through on the sea there.

The young Peregrines at Southwell fledged this week and have been showing nicely © Pete Saunders:  


The fly-by Little Ringed Plover at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:  
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Friday 29th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 22:08
No significant news today
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

24 June 18 - One That Got Away

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 20:22
I had a mid morning call from Paul Morton from the Birds of Poole Harbour team. He had just seen an email from a member of the public. A distant summer plumage Plover, but which he though looked like an American Golden Plover. The initial photo taken by Debbie Derrick has been published on the BoPH June 18 Sightings page. It had been seen on 4 occasions between 18 & 22 Jun. Looking at the photo, it certainly looked a reasonable identification, albeit it was distant. I was about to leave when Paul rang back. He had forwarded the photo to Killian Mullarney & had a thumbs up to the identification.

It had been photographed on the outer side of Redhorn Quay, which is the point that separates Brands Bay from what most locals regard as the outer Brands Bay (but pedantically is Plateau Bay). I arrived about ten minutes later & headed straight for Redhorn Quay, while local Poole Birder, Shaun Robson headed to Jerry's Point. Jerry's Point is closer to the ferry & gives views over the outer part of the Studland peninsula. We both had excellent views of people, uncontrolled dogs & people who are into the latest craze of standing on boards & paddling around on them close to the shoreline. But sadly no sign of the American Golden Plover. We both planned to meet up in the Brands Bay hide. This gives better views of Brands Bay, but I had already had a fairly reasonable view of Brands Bay so I was fairly confident it wouldn't be on view from there: I was correct. On the way to the hide, I ran into my mate Peter Moore who having arrived & already heard the negative news was getting distracted with the Silver-studded Blues. It seemed the best option in the circumstances.
Silver-studded Blue: They seemed to be having a good year locally with the current heatwaveA had another look at Brands Bay in the early evening as it should have quietened down & there was footie to keep most of Joe Public indoors. Unfortunately, still no joy. Then it was onto the Middlebere hide in the hope it might have relocated to Middlebere on the rising tide. Again no luck, but there was a reasonable selection of Waders to keep me occupied & a 1st Summer Spoonbill.
Spoonbill: 1st Summer. This was presumably the individual that had been moving around Poole Harbour in recent days. It disappeared to roost soon after I arrived. Middlebere is a popular Spoonbills pre-roost site, but they don't roost thereAfter grabbing a few photos of the Spoonbill, I carried on scanning the exposed mud in the hope that the American Golden Plover would arrive. As a result, I never saw the Spoonbill depart. Subsequently, this would have been interesting to have seen it go to see the extent of the black in the wing tips. At the time, I aged this Spoonbill as a first summer on the basis of the bill colour, lack of plumes & white breast. As I'm writing this Post I thought I would have a quick check on ageing of first summer Spoonbills & found an article on Surfbirds by Alexander Hellquist. This shows that ageing isn't as straight-forward as I though & second summer individuals Spoonbill should also be considered. First summer individuals sometimes show a white tuft instead of a full plumes, but often won't show a crest, do not show the adult's yellow breast band, have an extensive yellow tipped bill with a grey base, grey legs, a (brownish) red iris (far too far away to determine iris colour) & have extensive black in the wing tips (not seen in flight). In comparison, second summer individuals generally show a short white plume, will not show the adult's yellow breast band, have more yellow in the bill tip than adults, have darker grey legs than a first summer (but no others for comparison), have an intensive red eye & little in the way of black in the wing tips. There appears to be a bit of fleshy pink colouration in the base of the bill (which juvenile individuals show) & coupled with the lack of a crest (although that isn't diagnostic), then I guess this is still a first summer individual. But I would welcome any comments. Spoonbill: 1st SummerSpoonbill: 1st Summer. A closer crop. Does the pinkish edges to the bill & the lack of any crest make it more likely to be a first summerSpoonbill: 1st SummerSpoonbill: 1st Summer. A closer crop. The bill tip looks fleshy, but there is generally a warm evening light at Middlebere at this time of the yearThere was no sign of the American Golden Plover, but I was pleased to see a flyover Great White Egret which was in heavy wing moult on the innermost primaries. We weren't aware there had been a Great White Egret in Poole Harbour since early Spring, so had it just arrived or been overlooked. I saw it again in flight on the following evening. I've now given up on the search for the American Golden Plover & as the tides aren't great for middlebere at the moment, I've not been down to see if I can get more views of the Great White Egret. Only four years ago, we had the first properly twitchable Great White Egret in Poole Harbour. After four years of overwintering involving up to three individuals then we are now fairly balse about local Great White Egrets: how times change.
Sika Deer: Seen enjoying the evening sun on the following evening's visit to Middlebere (25 Jun 18)
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Blog Post: June 2018 RSPB Radipole Lake Update

RSPB Weymouth Wetlands - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 17:33
There are three big items of news this month.  The first has to be the glorious sunshine and warm temperatures we have been enjoying over the past two to three weeks. The prolonged sunshine means that our reserves are thriving  with life and they are looking fantastic and colourful at the moment.  A family of Tufted ducklings have been seen on the reserve, along with Mallard ducklings and Canada Geese goslings. Also a record 35 Mute Swan cygnets have been counted around the reserve. 10th Anniversary of the Brown Bee Orchid The next next news item is that 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Brown Bee Orchid ( Ophyrs apifera var. atrofuscus ).  Radipole Lake has become well known for the ' Atrofuscus ' or 'Brown Bee', a variety of Bee Orchid which Naomi Bailey, RSPB Volunteer, first discovered on the reserve back in 2008. (The very first atrofuscus  discovered on Radipole Lake is this blog’s avatar). This variety had first been discovered in Sussex in 2001, although it may have previously occurred in Herefordshire and has also been recorded at a site in Leicestershire. The  atrofuscus  Bee Orchid at Radipole Lake is the first record for Dorset and it is Dorset’s only known site. The Brown Bee, which the atrofuscus has become affectionately known as, has flowered on Radipole Lake every year since 2008 and has since been found at different locations around the reserve.  On 15th June a 10th Anniversary Orchid Walk was held to celebrate this event.  The walk was led by Dan Bartlett, Naomi Bailey and attended by 17 visitors in glorious sunshine weather. Four Brown Bee Orchids have made their appearance this year along with five of the typical Bee Orchids.   This walk also gave visitors the opportunity to see the reserves other orchid species.  The next one shown to our visitors was the Pyramidal Orchid on the path near the Kingfisher gate.  Normally at their best in late June/early July, five plants were counted with one coming into flower.  The Pyramidal Orchid count on 29th June was 22 plants in full bloom.  Finally, visitors were shown our most abundant orchid on the reserve, the Southern Marsh Orchid with a count this year of forty-eight plants on the path down to the new Viewing Shelter.    Marsh Harrier Update The next item of news is the Marsh Harriers.  Over on Lodmoor, four juveniles were seen enjoying the summer sunshine. The superb photos below were taken by RSPB Volunteer, Edmund Mackrill.  All four of the juveniles can be seen in the first photo, then one of them took off to explore the Common Tern colony. All Marsh Harrier Photos Copyright: Edmund Mackrill, RSPB Volunteer For all the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available. Telephone : 01305 778313 Email :  Weymouth.reserves@rspb.org.uk Website :  www.rspb.org/radipolelake
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

29 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 16:54
Here There Everywhere

Too hot for any serious walks. However on my travels today, 20+ Swifts over Radipole, at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Ringed Plover on The Fleet

Wakeham

In the conservatory this morning two moths a Silver Y (Autographa gamma) and a Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata). Also "flitting" around UK's largest Cranefly (Tipula maxima).

Also 2 Swallows over the back garden.

Silver Y moth
Small Fan-footed Wave
This is Tipula maxima our largest cranefly in the UK.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 28-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 08:33
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
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