You are here

Martin Adlam

Subscribe to Martin Adlam feed
Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago

20 Aug 18

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 21:00

As the tide dropped this afternoon, so dozens of small waders arrived. Also about 4 Sandwich Terns (2 adults and 2 juveniles).


Over Penns Wood this evening several Swallows feeding on insects above the tree tops.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

19 Aug 18

Sun, 08/19/2018 - 20:14

In the back garden a Footman moth. Possibly Eilema griseola, Dingy Footman, a species recorded in the back garden before.


More painting on Star. At this rate there will be so much paint on her, she'll sink when she's launched on Tuesday. Overhead 2 screeching Sandwich Terns. Also seen approx 200 Starlings and 20+ Linnet.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

18 Aug 18

Sat, 08/18/2018 - 10:57

As promised a photo of one of the Common Darter nymphs in the garden pond.

A real odd looking creature.
More on Common Darter nymphs here.

Two Little Egrets here today.

One of the 2 Little Egrets at Castletown feeding in the shallows.
And the other one looking for a feeding spot.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

17 Aug 18

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 22:33
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

Another lovely warm day, though on the coast path it was a a bit cooler with that south-easterly blowing in. No real highlight, but there was a "lowlight" with seeing a juvenile Blackbird with a poorly eye. Not quite sure whether it could see me, but I was incredibly close to it as it was picking off the Blackberries at the top of Penn's Wood. Whether it could see out of it or not, it did appear to be in good health.

Also in Penn's Wood were dozens of Dead Head Hoverflies (Myathropa florea) buzzing about in the sun, with several landing on the leaves and tree trunks. Also here were 2 Ectemnius sexcinctus wasps.

On the butterfly front, there were a few Common Blues about, mainly along the Mermaid Track and in the grounds of St Andrew's Church there were 2 Holly Blues and a Meadow Brown again.

Also in the grounds of St Andrew's Church were 2 Common Darters, a female and a juvenile male. On the buddleia were a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and a Lesser Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella inanis).
On the way down the steps from Rufus Castle I always take a slight detour onto Penns Wear, its only a short walk, which takes you back to the bottom of the steps. Even though its a short walk, its quite surprising what you can find. Today it was grasshoppers, of which there were dozens, with lots of youngsters jumping about.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

A Speckled Wood along the Mermaid Track
Also here a Dead Head Hoverfly
I was going to say Common Carder Bee, but though not easy to see in this photo, it was considerably smaller than a Bombus pascuorum. Another one to ID
The view across Penn's Weare towards Lulworth Cove in the distance.
A Garden Spider packing its lunch
A grasshopper, though as to which one who knows.
Pennsylvania Castle at the top, centre the remains of St Andrew's Church and bottom right the bottom of the steps.
The ruins of St Andrew's Church
Two Wall Lizards eye each other up.
A Holly Blue
And a Common Blue
As above.
A Meadow Brown. This one seems to be the only one in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
Looking at the extended abdomen I would say this is a Tapered Drone-fly (Eristalis pertinax)
A juvenile male Common Darter, just showing a bit of red.
And a female, a lot greener.
A Lesser Hornet Hoverfly
An Ectemnius sexcinctus wasp.
And another one
On the leaves and tree trunks in Penn's Wood were dozens of Dead Head Hoverflies.
First appearance is that this "tame" juvenile Blackbird is blind in its right eye............
........however it does seem there is a pupil there. Whether it can see who knows, but it didn't seem to bothered and was feeding well on the blackberries.
A new notice board.........
........which is very informative. I hadn't realised there is no right of way through Penn's Wood to Church Ope Cove via St Andrew's Church. Apparently the Australian owner of Pennsylvania Castle, also owns the wood and has given consent to the public to use the track through it.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

16 Aug 18

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 16:28
The Fleet

A quick afternoon visit to The Fleet as the tide was going out at 1:30pm. First visitor to the mud flats was a Little Egret, followed by 3 Ringed Plovers, a Turnstone and then 2 Sandwich Terns (an adult & juvenile).

Also about several Herring Gull, Linnets, 2 Pied Wagtails and a small flock of Starlings.

Here are a few images:

The Fleet looking west towards Abbotsbury in the far distance.
A Little Egret comes into land.......
......and immediately starts looking for food.
A nice pose......
....before getting down to the serious business of catching some small fish.
One of the 3 Ringed Plovers comes into land.
No 1
No 2
And no 3.
Just one here
And all three.
A Turnstone is another arrival.
Nice colours.
Two Sandwich Terns are next to arrive. You can just make out the juvenile on the right.
They stopped off to have a preen.
And a break before......
......having a bathe, before setting off again.
On the revetment wall one of the 2 local Pied Wagtails.
A few Starlings on the railings and in the back ground...........
.........Tiki our Shetland.
Mustn't forget Star either which hopefully will be in the water soon.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust out in their boat The Fleet Explorer. More on their Fleet Trips Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

15 Aug 18

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 17:33
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

Today started off cloudy, but by mid afternoon, the clouds dispersed to leave a nice sunny end to the day. Main highlight of my walk was the juvenile Sparrowhawk still calling and exercising its wings close to Penn's Wood. Also about a few more Chiffchaffs calling.

A lot fewer butterflies seen today, with just 4 Common Blues, 2 Large Whites, 2 Green-veined Whites and a solitary Meadow Brown.

There might have been fewer butterflies, but there seems to be a lot more bees about with Small Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee (Bombus rupestris), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) and Honey Bees. Also seen was one of the Nomad Bees, which sadly will have to remain as Nomada sp. as it wouldn't settle.

Quite a few hoverflies about, mainly Marmalade (Episyrphus balteatus), plus Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), a Xylota segnis and a hoverfly which I could only see head-on. As I moved into a better position a fly almost landed on it and spooked it.

In the grounds of St Andrew's Church were 2 Wall Lizards, with one sunbathing on the ivy.

Also recorded was the larvae of a Harlequin Ladybird and a Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa).

Just the one Meadow Brown seen today. This one was in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
A male Common Blue along the Mermaids Track.
A Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)..........
........also known as the Large Earth Bumblebee.
A Common Carder Bee.
An unusual looking hoverfly which goes by the name of Xylota segnis. It doesn't have a common name.
My mystery hoverfly. All I can say is, it was a striking yellow and black!!
A Wall Lizard sunbathing on the Ivy.
And another in its more natural surroundings. Both in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
This brightly coloured bug is in fact the larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird.
And always great characters to see as they trundle along the pathways, a Bloody-nosed Beetle.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

14 Aug 18

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:36

More painting on-board Star today, its never ending. However there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with just a few areas still to be touched up. In the meantime we are just waiting on a date for when the mooring is available at Castletown. Once we have that, all that's needed is to anti-foul the hull and she will be good to go.

Sadly the Winter Pelagic trips don't look as if they will happen this year as we can't find a Winter mooring. Unfortunately it will mean that Star will be in a boatyard from October to April, but we still have September for a few trips out.

So whilst Dawn and I were busy painting at Ferrybridge Marina this afternoon, I did notice a Common Tern and 2 Sandwich Terns passing overhead, whilst in Small Mouth there were 50+ gulls feeding close to the road bridge as the tide was racing out of The Fleet.

There was an exceptionally low tide today and the sandbanks in The Fleet were joining up with each other, making almost possible to walk from one side to the other. In the distance I could quite a few small waders and several Oystercatchers.


In the garden pond there are 2 very strange looking bugs which are either damselfly larvae or Water Spiders. Tomorrow I will investigate further!
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

13 Aug 18

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:49

A dry day with a little bit of sun. Main highlight was 3 Common Darters, a female and 2 males around the pond.

On the feeder great to see a Greenfinch. Hopefully there will be many more visiting the feeders this Autumn and Winter.

Always great to see Greenfinches in the garden and anywhere for that matter. Since the severe outbreak of trichomonosis that began in 2005, the numbers of Greenfinches has fallen drastically. More on this deadly disease on the Daily Mail Online Page Here.
A Greenfinch on the feeder. The greasy pole to the right is to prevent Roland Rat from getting to the feeders. Judging by the scratch marks I might need to apply some more grease.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

12 Aug 18

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 17:49
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

Anther wet day with the rain continuing into the early afternoon, before it finally stopped leaving a grey overcast day. Great to see so much precipitation, though I'm not sure the grass in the back garden will grow back anytime, as it looks absolutely dead.
The rain had literally just stopped when I set off, so it was no surprise that I didn't encounter any butterflies. In fact the only invertebrate seen was a solitary Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa), which was almost in the same spot as the one I found the other day, along the coast path leading down to Rufus Castle.
The rain certainly made a difference to the number of snails seen today. Most of the them were Garden Snails (Cornu aspersa) with a few White-lipped Banded Snails (Cepaea hortensis) in amongst them.
On the bird front I came across 2 juvenile Ravens sheltering from the stiff South-easterly wind, which later joined 5 other Ravens over St Andrew's Church. I don't recall ever seeing 7 Ravens together anywhere in my life. Unfortunately any decent photographs of them tumbling and diving was missed by the camera as I was in a very tight spot in the grounds of the Church.
In Penn's Wood or rather the trees in gardens just to the north, was what I presume was a juvenile Sparrowhawk flying back and forth in the trees. Juvenile or not it was certainly making a din as it exercised its wings.
Here are a few images from this afternoon:
Stormy seas across Weymouth Bay with Lulworth Cove in the far distance.
Two juvenile Ravens sit it out in the stiff wind and then decide to join.........
.........five other Ravens over Church Ope Cove.
Here an adult bird goes into a dive.
On the ground a Blood-nosed Beetle makes it way along the coast path again!
Also lots of Garden Snails out enjoying the damp conditions after several weeks of being in semi hibernation.
Cuckoo Pint or Lords and Ladies (Arun Maculatum) in Penn's Wood which are now ripe as compared to the same ones...........
.......seen here on 27 Jul which were still green. These are very poisonous so best not touched. More on this plant Here
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

11 Aug 18

Sat, 08/11/2018 - 20:19

Rained all day here on Portland, mainly drizzle and then now and then the heavy stuff. Only highlights were a Willow Warbler and Greenfinch in the back garden and a very useful amphibian when its raining a Common Toad, albeit a youngster in the vegetable garden.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

10 Aug 18

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:40
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

The first significant and much needed rain fell this morning and throughout the day. There was a brief interlude where I managed to get out for a walk, though the last 200 metres I did get a real soaking as the heavens opened again.

The bit in between was good and despite a stiff southerly wind, the sun did come out and with it a few butterflies, bees and hoverflies.

Main highlight was my first ever Lesser Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella inanis), which does make me wonder whether I have overlooked others in the past and passed them off as Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria).

Butterflies seen were several "blue" butterflies, a Green-veined White, 2 Commas and a Large White.

Other than the Lesser Hornet Hoverfly, I came across Common Drone Fly and Marmalade Hoverfly.

In a couple of places I came across a few Wall Lizards with 2 in the grounds of St Andrew's Church and a juvenile just north of Rufus Castle.

I can't remember the last time I came across a Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa), but I found one marching across the southwest coast path and another which was life expired.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

This is a Lesser Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella inanis) and is........ first one on the island. It is slightly smaller than the similar Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) and I came across it on the Mermaid Track..........

........where I also came across this bumblebee, which I'm struggling to ID. It looks like a Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum) but they are very rare and found mainly in the South-east, along the M4 corridor and South Wales. More on Shrill Carder Bee Here. Most likely it is a Cuckoo Bee either a Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus bohemicus) or Forest Cuckoo Bee (Bombus sylvestris). I'm just waiting for an ID.

A Bloody-nosed Beetle......
.......makes its way across the South-west coast path.
Good to see that a few Wall Lizards have produced............
...........a few little ones. This one was just off the South west Coast Path on the way down to Rufus Castle.
Here is an adult in the grounds of St Andrew's Church, which is probably the best place on the island to see them.

A Holly Blue
Rough Seas.
Its been awhile since the sea has been this rough.
Looking south across Church Ope Cove
The grounds of St Andrew's Church, still looking parched but the heavy rain this morning and late afternoon should help.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

9 Aug 18

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 18:06

More painting on Star, Dawn and I are getting there slowly. A quick break and a scan across the Fleet revealed several Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling. Further out and close to Chesil Beach a Redshank was knee deep in the water. Also about 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Oystercatchers, a Carrion Crow and 3 Ravens. The latter making their way south along the Portland Road.

The biggest highlight though was an Osprey over Portland Harbour. This one though was a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey which has been in the area now for a couple of days or so. More on this aircraft Here.

A very distant shot of the Redshank on The Fleet. My first this year.
A bit closer an Osprey.............
.........which has been in the area for a couple of days now.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

8 Aug 18

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 15:40
Portland Bird Observatory and Pasture Field

Its been awhile since I last visited the Obs and on arrival it was great to see a Painted Lady, 2 Red Admirals and 2 Wall Browns in the garden. Overhead were dozens of Swallows, with several feeding on insects just inches off the road surface on the main road at the Obs entrance.

Nothing to report from the Obs Quarry other than singles of Great Tit, Blackbird and a Skylark on the edge.

On the newly acquired pasture fields (See PBO Entry 27 Jul 18 Here) there were just a few butterflies seen, which didn't come as a surprise as the grass here is absolutely parched. What I did find were a few Common Blue Butterflies and several Meadow Browns.

Also on the field just one Six-spot Burnet moth and a Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata) which was a bit of a surprise. Quite a few bees with a majority being Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees (Bombus rupestris) and a few Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum).

Here are few images from this afternoon:

A Painted Lady in the Obs garden
Also here a Red Admiral.......
.......and one the two Wall Browns flitting around the paths and walls.
On the overhead telephone wires a few Swallows were having a rest whilst others.........
.........were flying up and down......
.......the road at the Obs entrance........
........catching insects........
........just inches from the surface.
Here a youngster has a go at catching insects.
A Wall Brown on the brambles on the way to the Obs Quarry.
The Obs Quarry with PBO in the background. It wont be long I'm sure, before this quarry will be filled with migrants such as warblers and other delights such as Wrynecks, stopping off for a break before heading off over the Channel to their winter quarters. several Meadow Browns
A faded Six-spot Burnet moth. Just the one seen.
A Lime-speck Pug was an unexpected find.
As above
And another shot.
A male Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee. A very numerous bumblebee on Portland
This is Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) and found growing in dry grasslands. Well its certainly very dry in these fields.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

7 Aug 18

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 19:34
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

A lovely walk today which ended up at Penn's Wood and briefly seeing a "brown" Pied Flycatcher before it flew into private gardens. At this time of year adult females, juveniles of both sexes can all look very similar.

In fact many years ago I was privileged to be at The Hurst, the home of the late Playwright John Osborne, accompanying Julian Langford a BTO ringer from the Shropshire Ornithological Society.

Julian and I were given access to the Hurst and the woods close-by, owned by the Sainsbury's family, to ring Pied Flycatchers. What was noticeable from the onset, was the variation in colours with brown males, dark females and the normal colouration's. The hills north of Clun are alive with Pied Flycatchers and it was certainly an eyeopener to see so many different colouration's between adult birds.

Also about several Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers making their way south along the hedgerows and trees between the Mermaid Track and Church Ope Cove. Overhead at Rufus Castle were 3 very vocal Ravens, which having sorted out their "issues" all headed south towards Southwell.

There was definitely an increase in the number of Wall Lizards with at least 10 seen. The past few weeks has seen just the odd glimpse, but with the temperature dropping a few degrees, they seem a lot happier to come out and bask.

A few "blue" butterflies about and lots of Small Whites. Just 2 Meadow Browns and 3 Speckled Woods seen and that was it.

Also seen was a possible Short-winged Conehead (Conocephalus dorsalis), funnily enough in the same area where the pink Meadow Cricket was seen, but today.

Here are a few images from today in order of the walk.

This caterpillar of the Lime Hawk-moth was making its way down Wakeham.
A pair of "blue" Butterflies.
Not sure whether this is a Short-winged Conehead (Conocephalus dorsalis) or a Long Winged Cone-head (Conocephalus fuscus). apparently its down to the wing size. I think this probably a male Short-winged Conehead, but I will check. Whatever one it is, it's my first on Portland.

Another "blue" butterfly
One of the 3 Ravens over Rufus Castle.
Great to see the Wall Lizards out in fairly good numbers. This one on the steps leading down to Church Ope Cove from Rufus Castle.

A nice close-up of one.
A Speckled Wood
Its either a Meadow or Field Grasshopper. There are lots of both species along the pathways.
Another "blue" Butterfly, this one on a Hemp Agrimony in the grounds of St Andrew's Church where..........

......there were several Wall Lizards.
And another.
And one more.
A Common Dronefly - Eristalis tenax
Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascuorum
Small Garden Bumblebee - Bombus hortorum
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

6 Aug 18

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 23:41

I'm always busy. You would think that being semi-retired you would have more time on your hands, but apparently not. So after a busy day, it was a late afternoon sat in the back garden just chilling out.

Main highlight was my first Small Copper butterfly in the garden, which, had I'd been a bit quicker with the camera, would have made a lovely photo I'm sure.

Still pretty enough for a shot was a Red Admiral, which was flitting between plants and laying eggs. I hadn't realised that it's not just nettles it lays its eggs on, but also Pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica), of which there are a few plants growing on the wall in the back garden.

Also about was the Pied Hoverfly again, this time having a drink from the pond, several Marmalade Hoverflies, a Common Drone Fly, lots of Honeybees, 2 Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees, a micro moth to ID and a frog hopper sp.

Here a few images from this afternoon:

A Red Admiral checking out the Lighthouse.
A male Red-tailed Bumblebee.
Lots of Marmalade hoverflies about........
........and another.
A Pied Hoverfly
Common Drone Fly
Common Wasp
A micro moth.......
....and a very small one to ID
One of the Frog Hoppers. Not sure which yet.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

5 Aug 18

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.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

4 Aug 18

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 21:06

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.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

3 Aug 18

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........ fruit.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

2 Aug 18

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.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

1 Aug 18

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 22:34

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:

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.
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.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter