You are here

Martin Adlam

Subscribe to Martin Adlam feed
Updated: 34 min 54 sec ago

8 Oct 18

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 14:46
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

A grey start to the day and a fresh south-westerly coming across the island.

Main highlights today were singles of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush, 2 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs along  Broadcroft Quarry Lane

In the lower and upper horse paddocks there were fewer Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails than yesterday, and no sign of the Stonechats.

Overhead 2 Skylarks, 2 Siskins, 25 Linnets and 12 possibly more House Martins.

As I returned home there were 2 Goldcrests calling from the back garden. As I was looking for them a Kestrel dive-bombed the bird feeder and then proceeded to sit in the neighbours Sycamore overlooking the garden.

Photos from this morning:

As I was photographing this ship on the horizon (it was to far out to identify for my ships today) I realised there were dozens of House Martins flying over Penn's Weare.
One of the few Pied Wagtails......... the lower horse paddock.
Quite a few Robins about now. This one was in the lower horse paddock.
In the top right hand corner a Kestrel looks over my back garden.
It had already had one failed attempt at grabbing a bird of the feeders. Its not just Sparrowhawks that visit bird feeders!

The local Kestrel looks out for a meal from the neighbours Sycamore.
Birds Recorded this morning: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Skylark, 12+ House Martins, 25+ Meadow Pipit, 15 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 23 Starling, House Sparrow, 5 Chaffinch, 25+ Linnet, 2 Siskin and Goldfinch.

Ships Today

This is the Portuguese General Cargo vessel "Indi", on its way from Belfast to Shoreham. More on this vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

7 Oct 18

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 17:07
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

The rain and gale force winds of yesterday and last night, eventually moved away to leave a sunny but cooler day. No sign of the Hoopoe, no doubt it used the northerly winds to get itself over the channel and onwards to warmer climes.

There was an increased number of Pied Wagtails this morning and they were everywhere, in the lower horse paddock, in the upper horse paddock and flying about overhead. In amongst them were lots of Meadow Pipits and Linnets.

In the lower paddock there were 2 Stonechats and a Chiffchaff.

Away from the fields there were 4 Chiffchaffs and 3 Blackcap along Broadcroft Quarry Lane. I was hoping for Yellow-browed Warbler as there were reports of two on Portland. Not this morning though, but it wont be long I'm sure.

A different call overhead today was the sound of Skylarks heading north, with at least 5 individuals recorded. Heading in the opposite direction were 3 House Martins and 2 Swallows, making their way down to The Bill and beyond.

Here are a few images from this morning:

A different day today. You can actually see the sea down Broadcroft Quarry Lane, unlike yesterday.
A Chiffchaff picks away at the insects along the lane.
There were 4 here today, hopefully in the next week or so they will be joined by a Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers.
Its a wasp I know, but they are really distinctive markings on the abdomen.
Probably just a Common Wasp!!
In the horse paddocks plenty of Meadow Pipits and linnets.
A Meadow Pipit in flight.
And one of the many Pied Wagtails in the lower horse paddock.
Birds Recorded: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 5 Skylark, 3 House Martin, 2 Swallow, 50+ Meadow Pipit, 80+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, Blackbird, 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 30+ Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 20+ Linnet and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 3 Red Admirals and several wasps sp.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

6 Oct 18

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 08:41
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

There are times when you just you hate it when the weatherman gets it spot on, especially when the forecast is rain. With heavy rain forecast for 8:00am I decided to get up early and head off to the lower horse paddock in the hope of seeing the Hoopoe.
I was out of the door for precisely 7:20 and in the paddock 2 minutes later. I spent a good 20 minutes here without any luck and decided to head off to Broadcroft Quarry Lane. Sadly just the 1 Chiffchaff here and a couple of Robins.
So it was back to the paddock for one last look as the first drops of rain began to fall. Still no sign of the Hoopoe and the only real highlights here were 3 Song Thrushes and a Grey Wagtail.
By 8:15am the rain was really hammering down, so it was back to the cottage and hoping that the weatherman has got it right when he said the rain will clear by late afternoon. We will see.
A miserable start to the day and no sign of the Hoopoe.
No better down Broadcroft Quarry Lane with the weather closing in.
A Meadow Pipit braving the elements.
Birds Recorded: 1 Kestrel, 5 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 10+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Linnet.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

5 Oct 18

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 13:08
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

An evening walk to see what was about. The Hoopoe has somehow found its way down to the bottom of the lower horse paddocks and is now feeding next to Bumpers Lane. Eventually after being harassed by a Magpie and then spooked by walkers it landed in a conifer next to the Old Stone Firms Office Here.

Still plenty of Chiffchaffs along Broadcroft Quarry Lane with at least 10 birds now. Only one Blackcap seen, but 2 others heard. And was that a Firecrest I heard, it only called once and despite my efforts to locate it, it had gone!!

Here are a few images from this evening:

The local Magpie wasn't to happy about this Hoopoe being on its patch.

Just when it thought it was safe from the Magpie.............
.........2 walkers put it up and it then decided to call it a night.
Bumpers Lane gate and the old Stone Firms Office on the right. In the centre the conifer where......
.....the Hoopoe has decided to rest up for the night.
Along Broadcroft Quarry Lane this evening this.........
.........Linnet was singing away.
Also here several Chiffchaffs.
A late morning walk and I was rewarded with another good sighting of the Easton Hoopoe in the Horse Paddock. The Hoopoe is getting a lot of disturbance from visitors wanting to get a closer look, fortunately it's a very confiding bird and once left alone comes back to its regular feeding spot here.

Other highlights were down Broadcroft Quarry Lane where there were 3 Robin, 2 Common Redstart, Blackbird, 5 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, and 8 Chaffinch.

Overhead plenty of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, 2 Siskins and 5 Ravens.

Here are a few images from this morning:

You don't have to go walkabout in the paddock to see the Hoopoe.
This Hoopoe is really confiding and if you wait patiently at the end of Moorfield Road it will come to you.
The Hoopoe returning to its its favoured spot once the "walkers" had vacated its "patch"

The Easton Hoopoe into its 4th day here on Portland.
Its not just twitchers watching the Hoopoe but even the quarry men in their trucks having a look.
Overhead 2 Ravens............
.........make that 5 with these 3 close behind.
One of the 4 Stonechats in the lower horse paddock
Pleased with this, one of the two Common Redstarts in Broadcroft Quarry Lane Here
Birds Recorded: 2 Kestrel, 3 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Hoopoe, 40+ Meadow Pipit, 20+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 4 Stonechat, 2 Common Redstart, Blackbird, 5 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 5 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, 8 Chaffinch, 6 Linnet, 2 Siskin and 3 Goldfinch.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

4 Oct 18

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 12:16
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

A misty morning with low cloud and a fine drizzle coming down. More birds in the lane this morning with 3 Robin, 7 Blackbird, 3 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit and 5 Chaffinch.

In the top horse paddock 4 Herring Gull, 8 Pied Wagtails, 2 Magpie and 5 Jackdaw.

The lower paddock was busy with Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails, with a Kestrel looking on. After scanning the field for a good 10 minutes the Hoopoe dropped in at 9:38am and remained until it flew off and landed in a Sycamore tree Here. It stayed her for a good 20 minutes resting and preening before flying back to its favoured feeding spot here.

Overall a very good morning with increased numbers of warblers, wagtails, thrushes and crests.

Here are a few images and videos from this morning:

A Meadow Pipit in the grounds of the building site at Bumpers Lane
Along Broadcroft Quarry Lane one of the 3 Chiffchaffs Here.
At the end of Moorfield Road the arrow points to the Hoopoes favoured feeding area.
A close-up view of the paddock.
And the Hoopoe......
......which is in its 3rd day here.
If its not feeding its sat in the local Sycamores.

Birds Recorded this morning: Kestrel, 4 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 4 Collared Dove, 1 Hoopoe, 400+ Swallow, 30+ Meadow Pipit, 20+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 10 Blackbird, 4 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 5 Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, 5 Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded 1 Red Admiral.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

3 Oct 18

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 13:24
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

Just the 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Robins and a Blue Tit in the Lane Here.

Most of the action was in the lower Horse paddock Here, where there were 80+ Meadow Pipits, just the 1 Stonechat, 1 Blackcap in the brambles and a Wheatear. Also about were a dozen or so Starlings in winter plumage and a small flock of 7 Linnets heading south.

Here are a few images and a video from this morning.

The lower Paddocks just north of Bumpers Lane
In the northeast corner 80+ Meadow Pipit and a Wheatear.
One of the Stonechats still here...... the top of Moorfield Road.
Along the fence line a Meadow Pipit............
.........with others feeding on insects in amongst the horses dung.........
.......and grasses.
A Chiffchaff on its way south.......
.....via a bramble.
Two Starlings now taking on their winter colours.
A Wheatear was in amongst the Meadow Pipits.
Looks in good condition as well.
Which it will need for its long journey south.
Its been a good few days in the horse paddocks with Wryneck, Hoopoe, turtle Dove and now a Wheatear.
I suspect a garden plant.
I did wonder Jasmine, but these flowers were completely scentless.
Birds Recorded this morning: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 80+ Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 7 Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies recorded: 1 Red Admiral and 2 Large White.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

2 Oct 18

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 14:17
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

The past few days have seen, Wryneck, Hoopoe and Turtle Dove (yesterday) in and around the paddocks. Sadly no "unusual" birds today, but 2 Goldcrests at the the top of Moorfield Road were my first of this species this Autumn.

Other birds of interest were 33 Meadow Pipits in the bottom paddock, with one very light individual, which stood out against the olive-green of the other birds around it, a Blackcap in the lane and a Chiffchaff in the scrubland to the north of the top Paddock.

Here are a few images from this morning:

The bottom paddock
Looking south
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Something has caught the eye of this Kestrel.
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly
This is Pampas Grass, Cortaderia selloana.......... ornamental plant that has been growing wild since the 1920's. More on this grass here.
Birds Recorded were: 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 6 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 33 Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 1 Large White, 3 Speckled Woods and a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

1 Oct 18

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 13:30

I was up fairly early this morning to see if anything had dropped in along Broadcroft Quarry Lane and around the horse paddocks. The Wryneck has definitely moved on but a Blackcap was a new arrival. The 2 Stonechats are still in the field here and were joined by several Meadow Pipits and 20+ Starlings.

Other birds noted were 4 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail and several Robins, with the latter singing from their "winter" patches I guess.

However all was not lost, as a Hoopoe turned up late morning in the same area the Wryneck was spotted yesterday. Fortunately I was about to see it and after a good recce, a dog walker put it up Here and it landed on the roof of a bungalow Here before dropping down into a lucky neighbours garden.

As I made my way back home across the paddock a Clouded Yellow flew past me.

Here are a few images from this today:

I might have dipped on yesterdays Wryneck.......
......but amazingly this Hoopoe pitched up in the same area.

This Hoopoe dropped into the same area the Wryneck had visited yesterday. Unfortunately a dog walker got a bit close and it landed on this bungalow roof before dropping down into a neighbours garden.
One of the "winter" Robins in the local area.
Autumn is here as the leaves on this Field Maple start to change colour.
A few of the Field Maple leaves which are still green. Not for much longer I'm sure/
For some reason the building work has stopped at Bumpers Lane. However talking to the Site Manager, that's not the case. The reason it's quieter, is because the pile drivers, which have been hammering away for a few months now, have done their work. Though they will be back sometime in the future for an area to the north of the site.

Ships Today
This the Crude Oil Tanker "New Prime" flying the flag of Hong Kong. It is on its way from Rotterdam, Holland to the port of Jose Terminal, Venezuala and should arrive there on 16 Oct 18. More on this vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

30 Sep 18

Sun, 09/30/2018 - 20:18

News filtered through that a Wryneck had been sighted in the horses paddock at the end of Moorfield Road Here. Unfortunately it was a good 2 hours before I could get back home to see it, and sadly it had moved on. The only other migrants here were 2 Stonechats, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was close-by and other birds of interest were Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtails and several Meadows Pipits.

Sadly not a Wryneck but a Stonechat.
Here's another from behind and ............
.......front view.
Weymouth Way, West of Radipole Reserve

As I was driving north up Weymouth Way Here at around 1:30pm a Hobby flew over the road from Radipole Reserve and attempted to catch a Red Admiral just above the car.

RSPB Lodmoor

Its been awhile since I've been to Lodmoor Reserve and with some good birds being reported from there recently, I decided to give it a visit.

First highlight was a Roe Deer in a patch of hedgerow on the west side of the reserve. Certainly my first deer here in Weymouth. Soon after I watched 2 Great Egrets taking off from the reed beds to the north and then watching them land in the centre of the reserve.

A bit further around I came a group of birdwatchers who were looking into the pools, and as I arrived there was a Lesser Yellowlegs right in front of them. Next to it was "white" headed Ruff and about a dozen or so Black-tailed Godwit. Also here were Dunlin, Lapwing, Mediterranean Gulls, Teal and Gadwall.

Further around to the south I came across 2 Greenshanks in flight where there were also more Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits. For most of the walk there were numerous flocks of Siskin flying overhead, plus a solitary Yellow Wagtail.

Here are a few images:

Here is the long-staying american wader........
.......the Lesser Yellowlegs. Not the first one I've seen, in fact this is my 3rd UK bird, my first was here many years ago and another at Port Meadow in Oxfordshire.

A long way from home, a Lesser Yellowlegs from North America.
This is my first Ruff............
....... for my Port and Wey Bird List.
A Black-tailed Godwit
Nothing like a good stretch.
One of the 2 Great White Egrets.
One of the two Great White Egrets here at Lodmoor today.
Always plenty of Mediterranean Gulls here at Lodmoor..........
.......... This one like many others is sporting a ring on its leg.
A Roe Deer foraging. Apparently there was also stag Sika seen earlier this morning just off the beach track Here.

This Roe Deer was foraging on the embankment.
Birds Recorded: Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, 2 Great White Egret, 4 Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Dunlin, 1 Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Skylark, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 20+ Siskin, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting.
Also 1 Roe Deer
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

29 Sep 18

Sat, 09/29/2018 - 16:11
Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Broadcroft Quarry Pools, Bumpers Lane and Mermaid Track

Not quite sure what's going on with the building site in Bumpers Lane, but it was eerily quiet all day yesterday and also this morning, when normally there would be some working going on. A great opportunity then to walk up Broadcroft Quarry Lane in the peace and quiet.

Its that time of year when the warblers head down towards The Bill, with many stopping off along the lane here. This afternoon there were 3 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap here, plus Blue Tits, Great Tits and 2 Robins. Not a bad start and in the adjacent horse field there were 2 Stonechats, a Meadow Pipit and a Pied Wagtail.

Where the mound is on the corner of Bumpers Lane and Broadcroft Quarry Lane, there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Up by the pools there was another Blackcap and Chiffchaff, plus 2 Palmate Newts. The latter "slithering" through the grass and disappearing at speed into the undergrowth.

On the South-west Coast path, above The Cuttings, a Clouded Yellow was flitting about, but didn't stop for a photo. I did attempt a shot as you will see below. Hmm.

Also by The Cuttings the Ivy Bee Colonies are doing well and it looks like there is another colony just started up.

Here are a few images from today:

The horse field to the right and the "abandoned" building site on the left of the re-routed footpath.
A Stonechat
A Meadow Pipit in the grass
Broadcroft Quarry Lane where hopefully there will be some good birds to see this Autumn.
Today there was this Chiffchaff............
..........feeding in the Sycamore.
In a Sallow a male Blackcap. You can just make him out.
In the pool area apart from the 2 Palmate Newts there were 3 Silver-Y's.
Over The Cuttings a Kestrel hovers.
Lots of grasshoppers and voles along this stretch to feed on.
The Clouded yellow flew past and I just pointed the camera and fired off a dozen shots. Moving on!!
One of the many grasshoppers the Kestrels enjoy eating.
One of the Ivy Bee colonies.
And another.
Birds Recorded: 2 Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies recorded: 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Red Admiral, 3 Large White, 2 Small White.

Also recorded: Ivy Bees and 2 Palmate Newts


In the back garden a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was on the Valerian, but didn't stay long. Here are a few shots.

Ships Today
This is the Korean Vehicles Carrier "Glovis Chorus" on its way from Dakar, Senegal to Bremerhaven, Germany. More on this vessel Here.
The large ship is the Maltese Ro-Ro Cargo vessel "Celine" on its way from Zeebrugge, Belgian to Dublin, Ireland. More on this vessel Here. The smaller vessel is the Dutch General cargo vessel "Sagasbank" on its way from Kiel, Germany to New Ross, Ireland. More on this vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

28 Sep 18

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 14:10
Portland Bird Observatory, Quarry and Crown Estate Fields

Wishful thinking on my part, but a late visit to the Obs to see if the Common Rosefinch from this morning was still about. And no surprise, it wasn't.

In the the Obs garden a single Chiffchaff, whilst in the Quarry there were at least 7 Blackcaps, a Common Whitethroat, 2 Dunnocks, a Robin, 2 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush.

I've not walked around the Crown Estate Fields before, but having sought permission I walked clock-wise round and then down through the middle until turning right and back to the entrance. Certainly a lot of birds in here with 60+ Linnets, Goldfinches, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 3 Kestrels, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, a single Skylark, 2 Pheasants and 2 Dunnocks.
Here are a few images:

In the quarry a hungry Starling feeds on the Blackberries.
Also here a Song Thrush.
The Obs from the Crown Estate Fields.
Not the Common Rosefinch but one of the Dunnocks in the Crown Estate Field
A few of the Linnets in the field.
A Small Heath
And finally a Common Blue.
And another shot.
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle and Museum

A bit cooler today, but still sunny. The Meadow Pipits from early on this morning were still passing overhead this afternoon. Not so many Swallows about, but a few drifting south.

Nearly every flowering Ivy Bush has an Ivy Bee on it, along with Honey Bees, Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri), Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare) and wasps.

The Speckled Woods outnumbered the Red Admirals today with 6 Specks and just the 2 Reds. Also seen 1 Large White and a Small Copper.
Here are a few images from today:

Ivy Bees...........
............and another.
This is a Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)
Two Common Wasps.
A Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Very similar to the Pied Hoverfly, this is the smaller Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare)
There are several of this species of hoverfly on the wing. They are the same size as the Marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus, but I have yet to ID it.
One of the many Speckled Woods seen today.
Stumpy the juvenile Wall Lizard at Rufus Castle

First light this morning there was a steady procession of Meadow Pipits passing overhead.

Ships Today
A British Warship on manoeuvres................
......................which I have been reliably informed is HMS Kent. More on this Frigate Here.
This is the General Cargo vessel "Wilson Dover" flying the flag of Barbados. Its on its way from Southampton to Coruna, Spain. More on this vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

27 Sep 18

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 18:43
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle and Perryfield Butterfly Reserve

A change of route this evening as it was a bit late, plus had I'd walked my normal route then I would have been in shade for most of it. It was another lovely warm day and though I was late, there were a surprisingly lot of Chiffchaffs about, especially around Perryfields Butterfly Reserve where the sun was still shining. There must have been at least 8 in the Buddleia Bushes and Sycamores.

Elsewhere there were 3 Blackcaps calling from around Rufus Castle, and there was a small flock of 7 Magpies coming into roost in the Sycamores by Church Ope Cove Car Park.

I was a bit late for butterflies, so I thought but I did manage at least 12 Red Admirals and 1 Large White.

Also about were Ivy Bees, wasps and a few Common Drone Flies on the Ivy at the Observation Area by Rufus Castle, whilst at Perryfields I came across a wasp nest and dozens of Common Drones on the Ivy there as well.

Here are few images from this evening:

A Red Admiral soaks up the last of the days sun
A Common Wasp.........
.....and its nest.......
........well hidden in amongst the Portland Stone blocks.
A Common Drone Fly
I thought this was a Marmalade Hoverfly. Its certainly the same size, but those markings are not quite right!
A juvenile Wall Lizard......
......and two more. It looks like one of the youngsters has had a lucky escape.
I'm standing on the old bridge which use to span the Weymouth to Portland railway track. The track is well overgrown, since the last passenger train came this way in the mid 60's
And the same railway track which took through Bottom Combe and into Easton Railway Station.
This tree has a strange looking bark to it.
This is a close-up. First appearance is that its diseased but in fact this is Ulmus alata, Winged Elm.
Shops today
This is the Maltese Vehicles Carrier "Neptune Aegli" on its way from Southampton to an unknown destination. More on this Cargo vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

26 Sep 18

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 16:40
Mermaid Track, Penns Weare, The Cuttings and Bumpers Lane

Phew what a change in the weather and I was well caught out when I wore my jacket for my walk this morning. The chilly night progressed into a glorious warm sunny afternoon and after walking a couple hundred meters it was jacket off time.

Some really good highlights with my alternative walk today. First off there were hundreds of Swallows, House Martins and a few Sand Martins feeding along the whole length of Penns Weare. Then I came across a Clouded Yellow and then at long last I found not one but 3 colonies of Ivy Bees.

Also recorded was a strange alarm call of a raptor/owl in Penn's Weare just below The Cuttings. Try as I could, using Xeno-canto, I couldn't find anything remotely similar to the calls. Odd. And another oddity here was what I presumed was a Goshawk. Certainly by its size it could have been, but having spoken to Martin Cade (the Warden at Portland Bird Observatory), it is most likely a large Sparrowhawk. The main feature being the outer-corners of the tail feathers. Goshawk's would have more rounded corner whereas like this individual the corners are "squared-off". There's a great Blog which shows the characteristics of both birds Here.

Other than the masses of hirundine there were several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps about, whilst overhead lots of Meadow Pipits were passing through.

Here are a few images from today.

An Ivy Bee
And another.
And one more.
My first colony of Ivy Bees, this one along Penns Weare.
Close to The Cuttings I found two more colonies.
Here's a close up of the 2nd colony.

It has taken me awhile, but today I found my first colony of Ivy Bees. In fact I found 3 colonies, this one along Penn's Weare and the other two close to The Cuttings
As a comparison this is a Honey Bee. A lot larger than an Ivy Bee.
One of the bumblebee family a Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
Not a bee but a Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
I cant figure out whether this is a fly or a hoverfly.
It certainly has an odd look about it!
A Speckled Wood
Red Admiral
A very distant view of Painted Lady.
A Common Field Grasshopper
These corvids are not happy about this Sparrowhawk being on their patch.
In fact more reinforcements arrived to see it off.
Here it can be seen soaring.
Now I was confused about this Sparrowhawk, which is why I asked for a second opinion. It just didn't look like the individual above and was a lot larger, almost the size of a Buzzard. However the corners of the tail are not rounded enough for a Goshawk. Like this individual the corners are very straight.
No confusion with this raptor...........
........a Kestrel at The Cuttings.
And a little later one by Bumpers Lane.
A Cormorant strikes a nice pose.
Whilst this Robin is about to fly off as it realises I'm pointing the camera at it.
A Wall Lizard basking in the warm sunshine.
A nice close up.
Church Ope Cove
Looking north across Weymouth Bay
A couple of new plants for me today this one is........
..........Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea
......and Common Hawkweed, Hieracium vulgatum.
..........which I first came across on 11 Oct 17 Here.
Birds Recorded: 3 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 7 Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, CommaLarge White, Small White and Green-veined White.

Also recorded: Ivy Bees, Honey Bee, Buff-tailed Bumblebee, wasps, Pied Hoverfly, Common Drone Fly and Tapered Drone Fly
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

25 Sep 18

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 19:51
Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church, Church Ope Cove and Pennsylvania Castle Wood

This afternoon I did my daily walk and took in Church Ope Cove for a change. No real highlights, though there does seem to be an increase in the number of Red Admirals with at least 10 seen along my walk.

There were at least 3 Chiffchaffs along the Mermaid Track and another by Rufus Castle, where there was also a Blackcap calling. Overhead a few Meadow Pipits passed by and there was a small trickle of Swallows on passage.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

Ivy Bees
And take off.
A Common Carder Bee
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
A tatty Red Admiral
And another not so tatty one.
Dark Bush-cricket (Pholidoptera griseoaptera).
A very vocal Common Buzzard.....
.....and a bit of a tatty one at that with quite a few feathers missing.
A few photos of Church Ope Cove
And another.
Rufus Castle from Church Ope Cove
The grounds of St Andrew's Church
Penn's Wood
Portland Bird Observatory and Quarry

News was out this morning that the Monarch butterfly had reappeared in the Obs garden, which was great, as at least it confirmed that it was indeed a Monarch that was seen yesterday evening. Unfortunately by the time I got down there to see it (2 hours later), it had long gone. A bit like the Large Tortoiseshell, it took me 3 days to nail that one, so maybe I'll get lucky.
There was certainly a lot of interest, with the car park almost full with butterfly twitchers all hoping to see it. No Monarch but plenty of other butterflies with Large, Small, Green-veined Whites, Red Admirals and Speckled Woods all on show,

Bird-wise fairly quiet with a Spotted Flycatcher on the wires, Blackcaps and Chiff/Will calling and a Blackbird singing at the bottom of the Obs garden.

Overhead a few Swallows passed over, with the main bulk most likely passing over early this morning at around 8:45am, when there must have been 400+ over Fortuneswell all feeding up before heading down to the Bill and then out to sea.

Hmm a camera shy Spotted Flycatcher
Ships Today
This is a traditional rig sailing vessel "Noah".............
........... Built in Vienna in 1949, it is on its way to Rota, Spain from Cowes. More on this Austrian vessel Here and Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter