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29 Apr 20

Wed, 29/04/2020 - 20:46

Wakeham

A very wet and windy day, but fortunately it dried up in the afternoon so that I could at least sit outside in the fresh air.

No new birds for my garden lockdown list, but a pair of Greenfinches in the neighbours garden was a good sign that at least a few are still around on Portland.

No bees or butterflies, but I did come across a hoverfly and a couple of flies. It was so windy they weren't flying, which at least made it easy to photograph them up close.

The hoverfly was a Pajupuuhari (Chalcosyrphus nemorum) and the flies were a probable Blow Fly (Lucilia caesar) and a Tachnid fly Gastrolepta anthracina, both new for my Portland List of Flies.

It looks like this male Blackbird has been doing a bit of "digging" in the neighbours garden
It isn't often you can get this close to a hoverfly, but this Pajupuuhari (Chalcosyrphus nemorum) wasn't budging for anyone or anything.

This is a Gastrolepta anthracina Fly and a new one for my Garden and Portland List
A Blow Fly possibly Lucilia caesar. Also a new one for both the garden and Portland List
A White-lipped Banded Snail and another...........
........one showing how they vary in colour and pattern
And Benji posing for the camera today.
NOTE

My Lockdown Garden List is Here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today's Sightings Here.

28 Apr 20

Tue, 28/04/2020 - 19:37
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove, Penn's Weare, Penn's Copse, Rufus Castle and the Mermaid Track

Never again will I complain about getting wet, with some of the best birding I have had for awhile on my exercise walk in the rain. Most of the action was in Penns Wood, where there were several Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler and my first for the year, a Spotted Flycatcher.

This was then followed by a Common Whitethroat on the slopes running down from Pennsylvania Castle just south of St Andrew's Church.

Seems the rain really did ground a lot of migrants, apart from that is 30+ Swallow heading up Penn's Weare and a bird that is everyone's favourite, a Cuckoo which flew over Penns Wood calling away as I was on the beach. And incredibly I heard one in Wakeham on this very same day last Year. Creatures of habit!!!

Having left the cove I walked up to Penn's Copse were there were 2 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler, with a further 2 more Chiffchaffs along the Mermaid Track.

Unsurprisingly there were no Butterflies, Bees and Hoverflies out, but instead it was the turn of the Slugs and Snails. My goodness I have never seen so many and there were a few new snails for my Portland List with both Lapidary Snail (Helicigona lapicida) and Durham Slug (Arion flagellus).

As I was photographing one slug, I realised when I got back home that there were three other invertebrates on the same flower. One was a possible Sap beetle (Epuraea melina), the next a Woodlouse sp. and the third possibly a Cricket nymph.

Here are a few images from today:
Penns Wood which was alive with Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler and my first Spotted Flycatcher of Spring.

St Andrew's Church and on the slopes in the back ground a Common Whitethroat was making its way through the undergrowth.

And a very murky and wet Church Ope Cove.
Just a short burst of song by a Chiffchaff on Penn's Weare
And it was a good day for snails like this Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa) in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
If that weren't climbing the walls they were munching the Alexanders.
This one was on Penn's Weare and close-by was...........
.............this unusual individual. Still a Garden Snail, but white. I'm not sure if that is significant or what!!
Apparently this is also a Garden Snail despite the different pattern on the shell as to the previous Garden Snails above.
Likewise with this one. Another Garden Snail
And this is a Garden Snail as well. So many different patterns.
A Brown-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)
This is a Lapidary Snail - Helicigona lapicida
This is the Black Slug, Arion ater
Very similar to Arion Ater agg. (Red Slug) this is an Arion flagellus and goes by the common name of Durham Slug
One to ID
And this is a young Arion sp. and it isn't alone as there is also a woodlouse, beetle and a cricket nymph alongside it.
The beetle is quite possibly a Sap beetle (Epuraea melina) which are found in woodlands.
Also with the slug and sap beetle was this cricket nymph and woodlouse.
And of course Ted.......
.........sporting his waterproof jacket for the first time in weeks.
He looks as wet as I felt, in the heavy drizzle.
Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Cuckoo, 30+ Swallow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch
Crickets and Grasshoppers Recorded: Cricket nymph sp.
Bugs and Beetles Recorded:  Sap beetle (Epuraea melina)
Slugs and Snails Recorded: Brown-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa), Lapidary Snail (Helicigona lapicida), Durham Slug (Arion flagellus), a Black Slug (Arion ater) plus 2 slugs sp.

Woodlice, Crustaceans Recorded: Woodlouse sp

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

27 Apr 20

Mon, 27/04/2020 - 17:38
Wakeham

No new Garden Lockdown Birds, but I did have a Willow Warbler first thing this morning and then this afternoon a small flock of Sand Martins passed through.

It was a lovely afternoon for sitting in the garden and several butterflies were seen with at least 4 Large Whites and 4 Orange-tips (1 female and 4 males).

A new bee today a Common Mourning Bee (Melecta albifrons), not just for my lockdown list but on Portland. At this rate I will have seen more bees in my garden than bird species. The Bee list now stands at 16.

My first Garden lockdown wasp ventured into the garden, but not long enough to tell whether it was a Common (Vespula vulgaris) or a German (Vespula germanica). A very small Ichneumon Wasp landed on the Valerian, but yet another one which I dont think will be identifiable.

And a Moth Fly (Tonnoiriella pulchra) was in the garden again.

There are always spiders running around the garden and today I came across one that was running over the pond weed and is most likely to be the Wolf Spider (Pardosa amentata). This species favours damp and wet habitat.

And bee species number 15. This time a.............
Common Mourning Bee (Melecta albifrons). Rubbish photos, but a new one for my Portland List as well.
An Ashy Mining Bee
Unfortunately this andrena bee is carrying so much pollen, it cannot be identified.
And a Sweat Bee, which can only be identified as a sphecodes sp.
Sadly this Ichneumon Wasp will just remain an Ichneumon sp.
At least I know what this is, a Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea)
And I know this one. A Pajupuuhari (Chalcosyrphus nemorum)
I hadn't realised this was a Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris). There are so many variants, it makes it pretty hard to pin it down to a particular form. The one I had on 23 Apr Here was a M. equestris form bulborum. This one above with a totally black abdomen, doesn't match any of the forms I have seen before or even found on the web.

And one of many of these "dark" coloured spiders around the pond. And most likely, because of the damp habitat, the Wolf Spiders, Pardosa amentata
And Ted of course.
NOTE

My Lockdown Garden List is Here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today's Sightings Here.

26 Apr 20

Sun, 26/04/2020 - 17:03
Wakeham

In the afternoon, as I was chilling out in the back garden, I could hear a Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler around Bumpers Lane, and a Chiffchaff calling frantically from my neighbours garden

In the back garden, my Bee Garden Lockdown List is up to 15 with a new addition today, a female Hairy-footed Flower-bee.

Unfortunately this was the only shot I managed to get of the female Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes)
This is an Andrena haemorrhoa to which I must say thank you to Sean Foote, who gave me the heads up yesterday, that my Grey-patched Mining Bee was actually this species. What I hadn't realised, was that A. haemorrhoa also goes two common names: Early Mining Bee and Orange-tip Mining Bee.


A rare sight Benji in the garden with Ted.
NOTE

My Lockdown Garden List is Here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Out and About

A change to my usual walk that saw me walking to the cliffs just beyond of Barleycrates Lane and then back via Avalanche Hill, Cheyne Weares and Church Ope Cove.

Main highlights today was a Whinchat close to Barleycrates Lane and then 3 Whimbrel circling over Wakeham on the way back. There was also a good flow of hirundines moving up the island, with 60+ Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows. Strangely enough I didn't see a single House Martin.

Other migrants enroute were a Tree Pipit, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap. Also seen was a Common Buzzard and a light phased individual. The latter which I believe has been noted before by other birders.

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

Two of the three Whimbrel which were circling over Wakeham this morning, before they headed off north.
There were quite a few Common Whitethroats.........
..........setting up their territories.
One of many Skylarks singing above the fields.
A Light Phased Common Buzzard.
And what I suppose you would regard as being normal.
With a bit of uplift from the wind, they are pretty good at holding themselves in the wind.
A male Blackbird looking quite smart.
And a good singer as well.
Though as soon as I started to record him singing, he was a bit reluctant to give me a full song.
Portlanders favourite caterpillar (Not!!), The Brown-tail Moth. Very itchy if you touch those fine hairs.
Apologies for showing a dead Shrew. This is only the second one I have seen on Portland. Fortunately the first one I saw was alive and running about at Church Ope Cove.

A Common Carder Bee on a Dandelion
And a Dingy Skipper butterfly on the south facing slopes at Church Ope Cove.
This either Chalk Milkwort, Polygala calcarea or Common Milkwort, Polygala vulgaris
Church Ope Cove
And Rufus Castle
And Ted the Hot Dog.
Birds Recorded: Cormorant, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Whimbrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Skylark, 60+ Sand Martin, 20+ Swallow, 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Whinchat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 6 Common Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard

Butterflies Recorded: Large White, Small White, Peacock, Holly Blue and a Dingy Skipper

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and many Nomad sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Epistrophe eligans and Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly sp., Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) and St Mark's Fly (Bibio marci)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today's Sightings Here.

25 Apr 20

Sat, 25/04/2020 - 16:08
Wakeham

What a strange day weather-wise. There was huge bank of clouds to the east and wall to wall blue skies to the west. And here in Wakeham we were stuck right in the middle, with a little bit of drizzle and then sunshine. That's Portland for you.

Today's highlight was a Lesser Whitethroat just beyond the back garden. I did wonder what the next Garden Lockdown Bird would be, with the List now standing at 43. A good bird, but beaten hands down by a Hawfinch seen by Mark in Easton, literally just up the road from the Cottage. Nice one.

Other birds of note seen today were a few Swallows and a male Sparrowhawk. The latter being chased down the gardens by a pair of Carrion Crows.

In the garden a few bees ventured out, mainly Early Mining Bees. Other bees seen were singles of Yellow-legged Mining Bee, Grey-patched Mining Bee and Red Mason Bee. The Cherry tree blossom has all but gone over now and where there were dozens of bees swarming all over it a few days back, today there were just 2 Buff-tailed Bumblebees. A Red-tailed Bumblebee made a circuit around the garden, but didn't stop.

Update what I initially thought was a Grey-patched Mining Bee is in fact an Orange-tip Mining Bee or Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)

Also seen was an Ichneumon Wasp, but I only managed to photos, which I dont think will be good enough to help ID it.

A few hoverflies about and two new ones for my garden list which are a Pajupuuhari (Chalcosyrphus nemorum) and a Vagrant Hoverfly (Eupeodes corollae). Also seen were 2 Epistrophe eligans.

Also in the flowerbeds both Hairy Shieldbug and Common Green Shieldbug.

Yellow-legged Mining Bee 
I missed identified this Orange-tip Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) as a Grey-patched Mining Bee. I need to check the tip of the abdomen in future. It is also called the Early Mining Bee.

Red Mason Bee
A very small Ichneumon Wasp and unfortunately the only photo. So it will remain an Ichneumon sp.
The hoverfly Epistrophe eligans
I've not see too many of these, but I believe this the hoverfly Pajupuuhari (Chalcosyrphus nemorum)
And I'm thinking this could well be a Vagrant Hoverfly (Eupeodes corollae), which is quite interesting in that I found one on exactly this day last year in Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly reserve, which is a few hundred metres behind the cottage.

A lone Common Green Shieldbug
And Hairy Shieldbug. In fact there were two seen today.
This Sycamore leaf in the garden is covered in galls made by the mite Aceria cephalonea. The galls are less around 3 mm high. More Here.

And last but not least Ted chilling out with Mr Fox in the living room.

NOTE

My Lockdown Garden List is Here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today's Sightings Here.

24 Apr 20

Fri, 24/04/2020 - 15:57
Lower Horse Paddock, Shepherd's Dinner, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penn's Copse, Penn's Weare, Church Ope Cove, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

Well my walk started off with wall to wall blue skies and sunshine, and then a front moved in from the south. The temperature dropped a bit, but it did feel quite sultry, especially as there was no breeze. What was eerie though was the silence. As the skies darkened, the birds were singing in Penn's Weare as if it was their dawn chorus. Certainly a day unlike any other day I have seen over the past few weeks.

Highlight today was my first Common Whitethroat of the year, singing and churring in the brambles by The Cuttings. Below the Cuttings in Penn's Weare were 2 Lesser Whitethroats and the only other warbler I had was a Blackcap singing in Penns Wood. Other migrants were a few House Martins and Swallows passing over Church Ope Cove.

Just 2 butterflies seen a Peacock and a Large White.

The cooler conditions also saw fewer bees and hoverflies, though there were quite a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees in a Sycamore in The Cuttings, where I also came across singles of Grey-patched Mining Bee and Trimmer's Mining Bee.

There weren't that many hoverflies about and I found singles of Dead Head Hoverfly, Marmalade HoverflyEpistrophe eligans, a few Syrphus sp. and a Gossamer Hoverfly. The latter I found at the back of the cove and a first for me on Portland.

Also seen was a Bloody-nosed Beetle and I'm not 100% certain, but also a possible Great Green Bush Cricket. The latter was difficult to ID as it was in its nymph stage.
Here are a few images and videos from today:
My first Common Whitethroat of the year.
Not the best of recordings, but you can just about see and hear the Whitethroat, as it makes its way through the brambles.

As the cloud moved in over Portland the light began to fade. As it did the wind dropped and all you could hear were birds singing. If you didn't what time it was (it was 11:40am), you would have thought it was a Dawn Chorus in Penn's Weare. Birds singing and calling are Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Feral Pigeons, with 2 Wood Pigeons flying from right to left.

An abandoned Blackbird nest in Penns Wood. The past week or so I have seen the parents going back and forth with food for their chicks. By the looks of it, they have all fledged apart from one egg which didn't hatch.

A Grey-patch Mining Bee
Trimmer's Mining Bee
A Marmalade Hoverfly
Here it is again, this time coming into land on an Alexanders
And touch down.
And just the one Dead Head Hoverfly seen today.
And you would be forgiven, if you thought like me, that this was an Ichneumon Wasp.
It wasn't until it started................
................flying that I realised it was a hoverfly. This a Gossamer Hoverfly (Baccha elongata) and a new one for my Portland List.
This fly I believe is a member of the Tachinidae family and is a Macquartia sp.
Just the one Bloody-nosed Beetle seen today.
And you just have to have a video of these beetles, as they trundle along the paths. 
Not an easy one to identify, but my money is on this being the nymph of a Great Green Bush Cricket 
A Crab Spider with its lunch, an unfortunate Yellow Dung Fly I believe.
I think these are Hawkweed Ox-tongue (Picris hieracioides), which were growing on the south slope of Church Ope Cove.

A very quite Church Ope Cove
At this time of year there would have quite a few people on the beach
The only sound today was the waves washing up onto the beach.
And my best mate Ted. He loves his walks and even in the cottage he will follow me around, just in case there is another walk on the cards.

Birds Recorded: Cormorant, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, House Martin, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Siskin, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock and a Large White Butterfly

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida) and a Trimmer's Mining Bee (Andrena trimmerana)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea), Epistrophe eligans, a Gossamer Hoverfly (Baccha elongata) and a few Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa), Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) and a Macquartia sp.

Crickets and Grasshoppers Recorded: Possible Great Green Bush Cricket nymph (Tettigonia viridissima)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

Spiders Recorded: Crab Spider (Xysticus audax)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

23 Apr 20

Thu, 23/04/2020 - 19:24
Wakeham

Another good Lockdown garden tick this afternoon with my first 2 Swifts of the year, as they flew up high over the garden. That is now 42 for the garden and 103 for my Portland Year List.

No new insects in the garden, but the Narcissus Bulb Fly was back again, as was a Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea).

The Narcissus Bulb Fly, Merodon equestris form bulborum with a red tip to the abdomen. As far as I can see there are at least 4 other forms:- equestris, transversalis, narcissi and vaildus 

Dead Head Hoverfly, Myathropa florea. This individual was quite small and is the result of the larvae being small before it pupated.

And my effort at trying to catch the small hoverfly Epistrophe eligans in flight at 1/2000sec
In the Moth Trap this morning were 12 moths of 8 species, including two firsts for my Portland Moth List, a Chinese Character and 2 Powdered Quakers.

A: 1 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

B: 2 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)

C: 4 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)

D: 1 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)

E: 1 Rusty Dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis)

F: 1 Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata)

G:1 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

H:1 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)


A: Brimstone
2: Powdered Quaker
2:  Powdered Quaker
C: Common Quaker
D: Shuttle-shaped Dart
E: Rusty Dot Pearl
F: Chinese Character
G: Light Brown Apple Moth
H: Early Grey
NOTE

My Lockdown Garden List is Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

22 Apr 20

Wed, 22/04/2020 - 20:09
Wakeham

The weather was to good to be sat indoors this afternoon and so it was a little bit of gardening and wildlife spotting. No new birds, but good to see a Willow Warbler in the neighbours garden and a handful of Swallows heading north overhead. Dawn also videoed a warbler-type bird in the garden whilst I was out walking Ted earlier. Not sure what it is!!

Some new beasties today with a Dark-edged Bee Fly, which decided not to pose for the camera. And also a Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris form bulborum), plus two moths a Light Brown Apple Moth and another Sulphur Tubic to join the one I came across this morning in Penns Wood.

A Willow Warbler flying up through my neighbours Buckthorn.
A slightly better shot
Now Dawn's video of a "Warbler-type" bird.
A lot easier to recognise. A Blue Tit in good voice.
A new addition to my Lockdown Garden List a Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris form bulborum)
It looks like a bee, but is in fact a Bee-mimic Hoverfly. I also learnt today that it attacks the bulbs of Daffodils. Which might explain why it's in the garden this year, as I planted 30+ Daffodils!!!!!

And having seen my first Sulphur Tubic (Esperia sulphurella) this morning at Penns Wood, I came across another one in the back garden.

And my first Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) of the year.
Well I guess we all have our favourites. For Ted that means his Flamingo which he looks after when he's not out for walks with me.

NOTE

See my Lockdown Garden List Here.

---------------------------------------------------
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove, Penn's Weare, Penn's Copse, Rufus Castle and Mermaid Track

Another really sunny day and out of the breeze very warm indeed.

A quick walk today and highlights were singles of Blackcap in Penns Wood and the Mermaid Track. A Willow Warbler along the track as well and a Garden Warbler in Penns Copse.

I had my first Silver Y moth of the year on the south facing slopes at the cove and my first Sulphur Tubic (Esperia sulphurella)  for my Portland List, the top of Penns Wood.

Also new for the year were dozens of St Mark's Flies around Rufus Castle

Several butterflies about with Large Whites, Small Whites and Orange-tips.

Here are a few images from today:

Wall Lizard
Silver Y
This Sulphur Tubic moth flew down onto one of the Alexanders, just as I turned into Penns Wood. And a new moth for my Portland List

There were an awful lot of nomad bees out today and I reckon there were at least 4 possibly 5 different species. This one looks good for Flavous Nomad Bee (Nomada flava)

And Ted of course.
Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard

Butterflies Recorded: Orange-tip, Small White and a Large White Butterfly

Moths Recorded: 1 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) and a Sulphur Tubic (Esperia sulphurella)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa), Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida), Flavous Nomad Bee (Nomada flava) and many other nomad sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), Epistrophe eligans and Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: St Mark's Fly (Bibio marci)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

21 Apr 20

Tue, 21/04/2020 - 16:11
Wakeham

It's almost like we've skipped Spring and gone straight into Summer, it's that warm. Today was my lockdown day in the back garden and another good one with a Cinnabar Moth to add, not only to my Garden list, but also as a first for Portland. Annoyingly I didn't manage a photograph of it, as it was behind the gate and as I opened it, it flew off. At least I know there's one about.

Another first for the Garden Lockdown list was a Blue Mason Bee (Osmia caerulescens). I have seen these in previous years, so a good one to add to my Lockdown list.

And yet another bee, which had I been able to identify it would have been a first for my Portland List as well as my lockdown list. Unfortunately I can only go as far as a Sweat Bee, as there are several similar looking sphecodes species.

No new birds to add to my Garden Lockdown List, and what a shame I wasn't able to pop down to the Bill today, when a Woodchat Shrike put in an appearance. Nice photo of it on Twitter Here and a quite extraordinary one Here. They often pass through Portland, so hopefully when this Pandemic is over, I might get an opportunity to see one in years to come.

So back to the garden and I had a lovely sight today of one of the Palmate Newts feeding in the pond. Every now and then it would take a break from catching its prey and come up to the surface for air.

Still plenty of bees about, especially the two species of mining bees that live in the lawn. However with the Cherry Blossom going over, there appears to be fewer Buff-tailed Bumblebees on there. I just caught a glimpse of a Lathbury's Nomad Bee, with the most numerous of nomad bees being Painted Nomad Bees.

Also noted were a Large White, 1 Red Admiral and a Leucophora sp. fly. The latter seek out Andrena bee nests to lay their eggs. The garden is full of mining bees, so stands to reason that this fly is here.

Here are a few photos and videos from today:

A Goldfinch on the edge of the pond. This is only the second time I have seen birds drinking from the pond. The first was a Chiffchaff sometime back.

And a busy Palmate Newt
It's been awhile since I have sat down and watched newts in a pond. Normally they are deep down and all you get to see is a quick wriggle up to the surface for air and then they disappear like lightening back down to bottom.

A couple of videos of the Palmate Newt...............
................feeding in amongst the pond weed.


An Ashy Mining Bee on the Cherry Tree


Resting up on a Buddleia leaf a Red Mason Bee


A little stunner this one, a male Blue Mason Bee.


These Painted Nomad Bees are continually flying up and down the lawn. Occasionally they stop


........................to check out the nests of other bees


This is one of the species of Sweat Bees, sphecodes.


 Unfortunately there are several similar looking species..................


.............so locking it down to a particular one isn't goin to happen.


This is a Leucophora sp. fly which seeks out mining bee nests to lay its eggs in. More on this fly Here.


And of course Ted who has just spotted a Bumblebee in the grass.

NOTE
See my Lockdown Garden List Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

20 Apr 20

Mon, 20/04/2020 - 18:03
Lower Horse Paddock, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penn's Copse, Penn's Weare, Church Ope Cove, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

It was an early afternoon walk today and the only migrants I came across were 2 male Blackcaps singing in Penns Wood and that was it!! A far cry from the migrants moving through over the past couple of days. In fact I had a better day yesterday in the back garden

Today was mostly about the invertebrates I came across, which included a Comma that landed on my head. Would have made a great selfie!!

Penn's Copse was pretty good today, despite the breezy north-easterly and there was a mixture of bees, hoverflies and flies, including my first Fever-fly of the year.

Here are a few images from today:

Lovely blue skies and.............
........blue seas at Church Ope Cove
A Grey-patched Mining Bee - Andrena nitida
There was also this bee, which is looking really "pale" from the pollen covering its body. I guess an Andrena, but I'm not sure which one.

A Comma butterfly. You can just about make the white comma on the underwing, from which it gets its name.
A Dock Bug on one of the hundreds of Alexanders along the steps and tracks. Normally at this time of year they would have all been chopped back.

I'm not sure if this Epistrophe eligans is the most numerous of hoverflies on the wing at the moment. But it is certainly a species which I'm noticing more along my walk.

Not one I've seen before and sadly........
.........not a fly I will be able identify, other than that it is a member of the Macquartia species.
And my first Fever-fly of the year.
This species is also related to the similar looking St Mark's Fly, which has a lot more hair on the thorax than Fever-flies. I'm sure I've got that right!!
And a "why have we stopped Dad" shot of Ted
Mammals Recorded: Bunny

Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock, Orange-tip, Small White and a Large White

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa), Mining Bee (Andrena scotica), Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe) and quite a few nomad sp.

Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: Ichneumon stramentor

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), Epistrophe eligans and Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa), Celery fly (Euleia heraclei),  Fever Fly (Dilophus febrilis) and a Macquartia sp.

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus)

Ships Today


This is Cargo Ship "Fluvus Plym" flying the flag of the Bahamas. It is on its way from Rouen (France) to Westhinder (Belgium). More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Patrol Ship "HMS Tyne" in Weymouth Bay. More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Replenishment Ship "RFA Tidespring" on its way from Portsmouth to an unknown destination (Probably Plymouth). More on this vessel Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

19 Apr 20

Sun, 19/04/2020 - 19:45
Wakeham

I certainly picked the right day to chill out in the garden, not just because of the lovely warm sunshine, but with some great highlights, which included a Garden Warbler and 2 House Martins to add to my Lockdown Garden List and also for my year list. The Garden List now stands at 41

Other birds of interest were a Peregrine Falcon, Swallow, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Rook and Greenfinch, which, with the others listed below, was a pretty good count of 32 for the afternoon.

New invertebrates for the garden were:

Moth: Green-longhorn Moth (Adela reaumurella)
Hoverflies: Epistrophe eligans and Eristalis arbustorum

Beetles and Bugs: Miridae (possibly Acetropis gimmerthalii) and a Ground beetle (Possibly Amara familiaris)
Spider: Cucumber or Green Orb Weaver Spider (Araniella cucurbitina)
Here are a few images and videos from today:

The Cherry Tree was alive with bees today and it was hard to say whether there were more Buff-tailed Bumblebees or Honey Bees. Also joining them were Ashy Mining Bees, 3 Red Admirals and a real surprise a Green-longhorn Moth.

Here are the Red Admirals #1
#2
And #3
A Green-longhorn Moth was an unexpected addition to the garden list.
An Ashy Mining Bee
And an upside down Honey Bee
Grey-patched Mining Bee - Andrena nitida
A stunning looking bee to find in the garden.
A Bronze Furrow Bee
A Painted Nomad Bee - Nomad fucata
An Eristalis arbustorum hoverfly which is..........
..........another first for the garden
An Epistrophe eligans hoverfly and another garden first
With so many similar looking species, this is the closest I can get to identifying this Miridae as possibly an Acetropis gimmerthalii. More Here.

A Ground Beetle. Possibly Amara familiaris, but there are so many similar looking beetles. So a Carabidae sp.
Cucumber or Green Orb Weaver Spider (Araniella cucurbitina)
This what Ted looks like after a ...............
............Buzz. 
Birds Recorded: Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 2 House Martin, Swallow, 1 Tree Pipit, 15+ Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Garden Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, 1 Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch Total 32.

NOTE

See my Lockdown Garden List Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

18 Apr 20

Sat, 18/04/2020 - 18:47
Wakeham Wood, Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Penns Weare, Penn's Copse, Rufus Castle, The Cuttings, Bumpers Lane and Lower Horse Paddocks

A bit of an odd day, which started off with light drizzle, then it was cloudy, then the sun came out as I started my walk and then it clouded up some 40 minutes into my walk. Mind you when the sun was out it was pretty warm and quite sultry, especially around the cove.

Some good birds today especially in Penns Wood where there were a mixture of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs in the upper canopy of the Sycamores.

Also in Penns Wood were 2 males and 1 female Blackcap, with another Blackcap in Penn's Weare where there were also 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff singing.

I also had a solitary Swallow and my first Sand Martin of the year which flew over Wakeham Wood. The latter my 100th bird species this year. I ought to get out more. If only!!!

In fact today was definitely all about the Birds and the Bees, as I came across several bee species, which included two first for my Portland List. The first was a Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva). In fact I didn't just see one but at least 3, with 1 in Penn's Copse and 2 in The Cuttings. What a smart looking bee. And the second a Trimmer's Mining Bee (Andrena trimmerana)

A male Large Tortoiseshell was flitting about on the steps below Rufus Castle and there were singles of  Red Admiral, Peacock, Large White, plus 3 Orange-tip (2 males and a female)

Other invertebrates of interest included a Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber (Myopa testacea). This is one of the Thick-headed Flies with an unusual Vernacular name.

Here are a few images and a video from today:

This is either a Chiffchaff or a Willow Warbler........
...........either way it is a leaf warbler and you can see why.
A female Linnet. Unfortunately they male sat next to her decided to fly off.
Bees
Today was quite an impressive day for bees and with a couple of new ones, Tawny Mining Bee and a Trimmer's Mining Bee.

 Mining Bee - Andrena scotica 
A faded female Mining Bee - Andrena scotica 
This one is a mystery......
.........and not one that can be ID'd
This a female Trimmer's Mining Bee, Andrena trimmerana and a............
.................new bee for me.
Yellow-legged Mining Bee
Tawny Mining Bee
And another, both of which are firsts for me. A lovely looking bee.
A Grey-patched Mining Bee
And another Grey-patched Mining Bee
And last one
This looks like a Grey-patched Mining Bee but.............
............it is a Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)
And a nomad bee. I only managed the one shot, so it will remain a nomad sp.
And other photos from today

An Ichneumon Wasp of the Campopleginae family. Sadly as far I can go with the species.
A Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare)
I'm pretty sure this is one of the Thick-headed flies and is most likely Myopa testacea. It goes by the unusual name of Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber

Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria). There were dozens about today.
One of my favourites a............
..........Celery Fly
And I couldn't resist doing a short video. Though this individual was a bit unresponsive. Normally they can be seen dancing around on the leaves. Another time.

Not too many Wall Lizards about today. Well it was awhile until the sun came out.
Ted was a bit camera shy today.
Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard

Butterflies Recorded: 1 Large Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 1 Large White and 3 Orange-tip

Moths Recorded: 1 Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida), Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva), Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe),  Mining Bee (Andrena scotica), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa), Trimmer's Mining Bee (Andrena trimmerana) and a nomad sp.

Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: Ichneumon sp. from the Campopleginae family

Hoverflies Recorded: Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Epistrophe eligans and a few Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa), Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria), Celery fly (Euleia heraclei) and a Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber (Myopa testacea)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

17 Apr 20

Fri, 17/04/2020 - 19:46
Wakeham

No new birds today, but some newbies to add to my invertebrates list.

Today started off pretty wet and then turned quite bright and sunny, though there was still cool breeze blowing in. However as I type this, it looks like we are in for another deluge, as the storm clouds are building up again.

So the newbies today were a new Hoverfly for the garden (but one I have seen before) an Eupeodes luniger and a smart looking fly which I think is the Root-maggot fly, Anthomyia procellaris

This was the seen first thing this morning. Some much needed rain. And more tonight apparently
And later when the sun came out so a Robin burst into song.
The sun also brought out a few hoverflies, like this Eupeodes luniger
One I have seen before but not in the garden
The Root-maggot Fly, Anthomyia procellaris
A Honey Bee comes into land on the Cherry blossom.
Another Syrphus hoverfly which sadly I wont be able to ID.
Good to see the Red Admiral back today. In fact it was joined by another one.
I must have counted at least 10 Buff-tailed Bumblebees on the Cherry Tree. This one and two others were warming themselves up on the shed door.

Ted who else and yep.........
.........another Buzz
And more. Ted's got more energy than I have.
NOTE

See the Full Lockdown Garden List Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

16 Apr 20

Thu, 16/04/2020 - 15:24
Lower Horse Paddock, Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penn's Copse, Penn's Weare, Church Ope Cove, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.
We are doing pretty well with the weather here on Portland and though it was pretty cloudy first thing, the sun did come out late morning. There was still an easterly breeze, but it did feel a lot warmer. However, looking at tomorrow's weather forecast, we could be in for some rain.

Highlights today were a Lesser Whitethroat along Penn's Weare, a Chiffchaff along Broadcroft Quarry Lane and a pair of Blackcaps in Penns Wood. No other migrants were noted other than a few Meadow Pipits moving through.

A few Butterflies about with 2 Peacock along Penn's Weare, and both Orange-tip and Large White in the church grounds.

Not so many bees today, but still plenty of hoverflies.

Yet again I came across a very very small Dark-edged Bee-fly. Unfortunately I didn't photograph it, as at that precise moment I saw it, I also spotted a small bird flitting about in the bushes to the side of me, which turned out to be the Lesser Whitethroat.

Here are a few images and a video from today:

The old Weymouth to Easton railway track running through the Cuttings.
A Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida)
A Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)
Penn's Weare with The Cuttings in the background. In the "Brush" was this............
...........Lesser Whitethroat singing away away.
It was pretty mobile........
.......and a job to keep up with it. A new addition to my year list which now stands at 99.
Here is the song it was singing.
A Wren keeps a beady eye on me and Ted.
And a Linnet. From not seeing any a few weeks back, they are now everywhere.
A very quiet Church Ope Cove.
The only life at the cove was this Bloody-nosed Beetle...........
........trundling along the path. Plus this...........
.............Peacock Butterfly
This is I believe a male Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)
Penns Wood looking..........
.........very green
In the wood were many Syrphus Hoverflies............
...........This Epistrophe eligans hoverfly
This is a Ferdinandea cuprea hoverfly. Sadly photographed from over 10 feet away. Shame I couldn't get closer.
And of course I think most of us know........
.......that this is Ted. A great companion on my exercise walk.
Birds Recorded: Fulmar, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Butterflies Recorded: 2 Peacock, 1 Orange-tip and a Large White

Bees Recorded
: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida) and Andrena sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Epistrophe eligans, a Ferdinandea cuprea and many Syrphus and other hoverfly species.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: 1 Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) and Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 1 Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and 2 Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

Wakeham

Late evening and whilst I was in the back garden, 2 Rooks flew over the cottage heading south. Personally I've not seen too many Rooks on Portland so a good garden tick for my Lockdown list, which now stands at 39. Full List Here.

Ships Today
This is the British Fishing ship "La Vagabonde Des Mer" on its way into Weymouth Harbour. More on this vessel Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

15 Apr 20

Wed, 15/04/2020 - 17:25
Wakeham

Another garden tick and the first for the year as a Tree Pipit flew over the garden at 7:30am this morning.

In the garden later, I had to remove loads of blanket weed which was suffocating the pond. In doing so I came across a Frog, 3 Palmate Newts and Common Darter nymph, which were all returned safely to the pond.

No change in the number of bees in the garden, though I would imagine if it wasn't so windy, there would probably have been more. Still a few Painted Nomad Bees hovering centimeters off the lawn and there is always an Ashy Mining Bee somewhere in the garden. And though not new to the garden list, the Red Mason Bees have moved further down the garden to the pond area.

No butterflies or hoverflies seen today. To cold!!

Here are a few images and a Ted video from today:

Never a good time to clean a pond, but unfortunately the warm weather was not only producing large amounts of Blanket Weed, but I was also having to top up the pond with rain water, which is rapidly running out in the water butts. Hopefully some rain this weekend.

Still it was great to see a few Palmate Newts in the pond.
In fact I have only ever seen one before. So having three must be a good sign that the pond is to their liking.
For the second year running there are nymphs of the Common Darter lurking in the pond. I've yet to see an adult emerge though.

The "Portland" Lighthouse attracted this Red Mason Bee to its light!!
And the ever present Ashy Mining Bee
A Painted Nomad Bee arriving at a burrow.
In it goes and then..........
......off it goes. Not sure if its the nomad's nest or what!!
And a Brachycoma devia fly
And a few Ted photos.
It's not often he sits. Most times its this............
.........the Bichon Buzz.

Garden Birds, Invertebrates and other wildlife(24 Mar - Present Day)
Mammals Recorded: Evidence of a Hedgehog

Birds Recorded: Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, SwallowTree PipitMeadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Total 38

Amphibians Recorded: Common Frog, Palmate Newts

Dragonflies and Damselflies Recorded: Nymph (Common Darter)

Butterflies RecordedPeacockRed AdmiralOrange-tipSmall White and a Large White Butterfly

Moths Recorded: Early Grey (Xylocampa areola), Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi), Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) and the caterpillars of the Brown-tail Moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea)
Bees RecordedHoney Bees (Apis mellifera), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe), Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis), Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana), Painted Nomad Bee (Nomada fucata), Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomada lathburiana)

Wasps and Ichneumon Wasps RecordedParasitic Wasp (Ichneumon stramentor), Possible Sapyga quinquepunctata

Hoverflies RecordedCommon Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis), Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea), Eumerus ornatus and Syrphus sp. 

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Common Fruit Fly (Tephritis bardanae), Moth Fly (Tonnoiriella pulchra), Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana), Possible Root-maggot Fly (Delia radicum)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum), Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus)

Slugs and Snails Recorded: White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis), Girdled Snail (Hygromia cinctella), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa)

Spiders RecordedSun-jumper (Heliophanus sp.), Crab Spider (Xysticus ulmi)

Woodlice Crustaceans RecordedPorcellio spinicornisWoodlouse sp

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

14 Apr 20

Tue, 14/04/2020 - 17:03
Lower Horse Paddock, Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve, Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penn's Copse, Penn's Weare, Church Ope Cove, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

Another chilly day here on Portland especially with that biting easterly wind. At least the sun was out all day. Despite the route I took, my exercise walk was quite a pace, so stopping every so often was a blessing.

Some good highlights this morning with 3 Wheatears in the field adjacent to the Lower Horse Paddock, a male Blackcap in Broadcroft Quarry Lane and a pair of Blackcaps in Penn's Wood.

A lone Swallow passed over the new Bumpers Lane Housing Estate, and for a change the local pair of Stock Doves were feeding on the ground in the Butterfly Reserve. In the past I have managed to accidentally spook them into flying. Today they let me get to within 20 metres. I suspect they have youngsters and the "drive" to collect food took over the fear factor of me being in close proximity.

No butterflies or moths seen today. Quite a few bees though and so many hoverflies of different species. One day I shall just dedicate my walk to finding as many hoverflies as I can. However identifying them will probably take months.

Only a few Wall Lizards and my first one ever at the top of Penns Wood. Also seen was a Brown Rat, which ran across the path at Rufus Castle. With fewer humans about there are definitely signs that the wildlife is beginning to show itself a bit more.

Here are a few images and a few videos from today:

These two Stock Doves were completely oblivious to me walking along the path next to them.
Here they are busy feeding along the tracks.
Unlike the Woodpigeon which has a white collar, the Stock Dove has this iridescent green sheen on its neck.
Hmm I forgot about Ted off his lead. I'm sure they will be back. He didn't chase them, they were just aware that he was more a threat than me.

Two of the three male Wheatears in the horse field.
Wheatears
I still cant believe I managed to photograph this female Blackcap. She kept looking one way.......
..........and then other.
And then having moved a bit further up the brambles proceeded.......
..........to do the same. Shamble about sapling in the foreground.
This is the first Wall Lizard I have come across at the top of Penns Wood. This was on the garden wall of the big house on the corner.

A Grey-patched Mining Bee
And another.
This one is a Yellow-legged Mining Bee
A double take!! In fact these two Dead Head Hoverflies (pair maybe) were flying in tandem and then landed together. Deserved a good score for the synchronisation. Worthy of a 10.

The last few days has seen a distinct rise in the number of these Epistrophe eligans hoverflies.
Rufus Castle from the cove
And the Cove from the south facing slope
Come on Ted.
Mammals Recorded: 1 Rat

Birds Recorded
: 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Swallow, Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 3 Wheatear, Blackbird, 3 Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Butterflies Recorded: None

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa), Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe) and Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Epistrophe eligans and many unidentified hoverflies.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Flies sp.

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

12 Apr 20

Sun, 12/04/2020 - 12:53
Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve, Bumpers Lane, Church Ope Cove and Penns Wood

Today's weather "HOT". With little or no wind it was absolutely lovely. And made even better, on my exercise walk, when I came across both female Common Redstart and Black Redstart in Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve and Bumpers Lane respectively. Other highlights were 3 Chiffchaffs along my walk.

Quite a few butterflies about with 3 Speckled Woods in Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve

Here are a few images and a video from this morning and a list of all of today's sightings:

A Black Redstart found this morning along Bumpers Lane. In the butterfly reserve there was also a female Common Redstart. The latter my first this year.

A rather pristine looking male Blackbird
As you would expect there were lots of Wall Lizards about.
This one has just caught his lunch
By the looks of it it is a Muscid fly. The rush for cover was because I forgot that Ted was off his lead.
This is an Epistrophe eligans hoverfly. Today I must have come across at least 20 or more.
And an Early Mining Bee
The only sad news today was one of the beach hut owners sunbathing..........
...........maybe the Coastguard overhead will get a message to them. Annoying when the rest of us are abiding by the Governments Guidelines.

Birds Recorded: Buzzard, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Black Redstart, Blackbird, 3 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock, Speckled Wood, Large White and Orange-tip

Moths Recorded: 1 Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) and Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)

Wasps Recorded: Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax) and Epistrophe eligans

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges RecordedYellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

-------------------------------------------------------
Wakeham

The weather was so nice it would have sad not to have sat in the garden this afternoon. I'm glad I did as I added Grey Wagtail to my garden lockdown bird list, bringing the total to 37.

Also first for the garden were a Red Admiral and a Holly Blue (both firsts for this year). Also seen a Small White and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth.

My first Red Admiral of the year and another Lockdown garden first.
The Cherry Tree blossom is absolutely buzzing. This is a a Buff-tailed Bumblebee
And an Ashy Mining Bee
This is a Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata)
Over the past few days.......
..........I have begun to see more of these "drifting" over the lawn.
How could we forget a Ted photo. Not sure why he's standing in the herb garden though!!
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Garden Birds, Invertebrates and other wildlife(24 Mar - Present Day)
Mammals Recorded: Evidence of a Hedgehog

Birds Recorded: Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Total 37

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock, Red Admiral, Orange-tip, Small White and a Large White Butterfly
Moths Recorded: Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe), Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis), Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana), Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata), Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomad lathburiana)

Wasps and Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: Parasitic Wasp (Ichneumon stramentor), Possible Sapyga quinquepunctata

Hoverflies Recorded: Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis), Eumerus ornatus and Syrphus sp. 

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Common Fruit Fly (Tephritis bardanae), Moth Fly (Tonnoiriella pulchra), Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana), Possible Root-maggot Fly (Delia radicum)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum), Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus)

Slugs and Snails Recorded: White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis), Girdled Snail (Hygromia cinctella), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa)

Spiders Recorded: Sun-jumper (Heliophanus sp.), Crab Spider (Xysticus ulmi)

Woodlice Crustaceans Recorded: Porcellio spinicornis, Woodlouse sp

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

11 Apr 20

Sat, 11/04/2020 - 15:37
Wakeham

I put the moth trap out last night and this morning there were 6 Common Quakers and 2 Early Greys. Both new species for my Portland Moth List. Also in trap was an Ichneumon Wasp (Heteropelma sp.)

A Common Quaker
Common Quaker
Common Quaker
Early Grey
And the second Early Grey
Early Grey
A Heteropelma sp. Ichneumon Wasp, which was in the moth trap.

In The Garden Today
Another sunny day and the first and only migrant I saw, as I walked out into the back garden, was a lone Swallow.

So as not to bore everyone with the pictures of invertebrates I've already shown before, I will attempt to just add new species of invertebrates etc. However if I have a half decent photo of a species I've already seen I might add one or two of them.

So today's new species and firsts for my Portland list were a Crab Spider (Xysticus ulmi) and a Woodlouse (Porcellio spinicornis).

Other species new to the garden list were a male Orange-tip and a Large White Butterfly, plus a Dock Bug.

Here are a few images and videos from today:

This is what the back garden looks like today, teaming with Wildlife.
It was a different story back in February 2017
The garden pond and waterfall
A Dunnock on my neighbours Buddleia
Another Common Quaker which wasn't tempted inside the moth trap from last night.
Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)
My first Dock Bug in the garden. This was on the Cherry Tree.................
.........which is in full blossom. And don't the bees know it.
A Hairy Shieldbug
I'm hoping I've got this right a Crab Spider (Xysticus ulmi)
This is an unusual Woodlouse..............
..........called a Porcellio spinicornis. This is first one I have seen on Portland
Also found was this deceased Ashy Mining Bee.
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Garden Birds, Invertebrates and other wildlife(24 Mar - Present Day)
Mammals Recorded: Evidence of a Hedgehog

Birds Recorded: Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Total 36

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock, Orange Tip, Large White

Moths Recorded: Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) and Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe), Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis), Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana), Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata), Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomad lathburiana)

Wasps and Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: Parasitic Wasp (Ichneumon stramentor), Possible Sapyga quinquepunctata and a Heteropelma sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis), Eumerus ornatus and Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Common Fruit Fly (Tephritis bardanae), Moth Fly (Tonnoiriella pulchra), Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana), Possible Root-maggot Fly (Delia radicum)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum), Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus)

Slugs and Snails Recorded: White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis), Girdled Snail (Hygromia cinctella), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa)

Spiders Recorded: Sun-jumper (Heliophanus sp.), Crab Spider (Xysticus ulmi)

Woodlice Crustaceans Recorded: Porcellio spinicornisWoodlouse sp


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

10 Apr 20

Fri, 10/04/2020 - 16:46
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove, Penn's Weare, Penn's Copse, Bumpers Lane and Lower Horse Paddock.

There was a bit of an easterly breeze today, but if you found shelter it was pretty warm in the sunshine.

A few migrants today with 4 Chiffchaffs dotted about and 2 Swallows heading north over the Lower Horse Paddocks.

Not too many butterflies about with just singles of Peacock and Large White, plus a pair of Orange-tips. I also came across a Carnation Tortrix and a Straw-barred Pearl moth just a few feet from each other on Penn's Weare.

Lots of bees today and at long last a female Hairy-footed Flower Bee along with 4 males in Penns Wood and a couple of nomads flying around the church grounds.

Also on the wing were many hoverflies of different species. The obvious ones were Common Dronefly, Tapered Dronefly, Marmalade Hoverfly and Dead Head Hoverfly

There were several Celery Flies about and I came across my first Dotted Bee-fly this year at the back of the cove along the track.

Here are a few images and videos from today:

Its amazing just how close you can get to these Wall Lizards.
I was even more surprised that I managed to the lens just inches away from this Peacock.
A little bit harder to get close to was this Straw-barred Pearl moth
As for this Carnation Tortrix I was pleased with the shot
This is either a worker or male Buff--tailed Bumblebee. Both are very similar in size and colouration.
A Common Carder Bee
An Early Mining Bee, Andrena haemorrhoa
A beautiful looking mining bee.
This is the Mining Bee, Andrena scotica
This  Ichneumon wasp was in Penns Copse, close-by was a completely black individual.
This is the hoverfly Epistrophe eligans
A quite unmistakable hoverfly with that gold sheen
Just coming into land
And here is one hovering.
A Tapered Dronefly which can be told apart by........
..........the pale front legs.
Here is a Common Dronefly with dark coloured legs.
My first Dotted Bee-fly of the year.
It even managed to keep still long enough for a short video.
Just love these flies. And each day there are more Celery Flies starting to appear. This fly has a dark black abdomen and thorax. Hopefully over the next few months I'll find the aberrant brown-form

A great little mover
A Bloody-nosed Beetle
And my first Bluebells of Spring.
Good old Ted, I just love they way he runs and flicks his right leg out. He's a character.
After all that hopping its time for a rest in the shade.
Birds Recorded: Buzzard, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 2 Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 4 Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock, Large White and a pair of Orange-tips.

Moths Recorded: 1 Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana) and a Straw-barred Pearl (Pyrausta despicata)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes), Mining Bee (Andrena scotica), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) and a Nomad sp.

Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: 3 Ichneumon sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax) and Epistrophe eligans

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor) and Celery fly (Euleia heraclei)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 3 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), 2 Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and 3 Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

Note
Last year I have participated in the BTO Tawny Owl Calling Survey - The Results are Here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

9 Apr 20

Thu, 09/04/2020 - 17:44
Wakeham

No new birds for my garden list but I at least I saw one migrant, a Yellow Wagtail heading up the island.

In the garden I had 4 new bees, the first was a Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana), the next was a Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis)  and then a Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata) followed by a Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomad lathburiana). The latter two being firsts for me on Portland.

A couple of other new species for the garden a possible Root-maggot fly (Delia radicum) and a hoverfly (Eumerus ornatus). The latter also a new one for my Portland List.

Here are a few images and videos:

A Yellow-legged Mining Bee
Honey Bee
Bronze Furrow Bee
Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis)
There were around three of these buzzing about in the Ivy in the courtyard.
There were three nomad bees in the garden today and this one is.............
..............a Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomad lathburiana). And not only a first for the garden but for me on Portland
This nomad bee is distinctly different and is..............
..............a Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata)
Here it is again on the left of the image as an Andrena bee comes into view and........
..........crosses in front of our mystery bee.
And a couple of videos.
This is a new nomad bee for my Portland List as well
A Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana) which......
...........is a new arrival to the garden.
An Ashy Mining Bee
This is an Eumerus ornatus hoverfly and not only a first for the garden but........
............my first on Portland
This is most likely a Delia radicum and is a species of Root-maggot Fly.......
To be 100% accurate it would have to be identified by an expert.
A 7-Spot Ladybird
There were 4 Common Green Shieldbugs in the garden, but none of them were "Spot", the first one I found. So we have had 5 to date.

A Sun-jumper Spider
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Garden Birds, Invertebrates and other wildlife(24 Mar - Present Day)
Mammals Recorded: Evidence of a Hedgehog

Birds Recorded: Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and GreenfinchTotal 36

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock

Moths Recorded:

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Bronze Furrow Bee (Halictus tumulorum), Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe), Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis), Fabricius' Nomad Bee (Nomada fabriciana), Painted Nomad Bee (Nomad fucata), Lathbury's Nomad Bee (Nomad lathburiana)

Wasps and Ichneumon Wasps Recorded: Parasitic Wasp (Ichneumon stramentor), Possible Sapyga quinquepunctata
Hoverflies Recorded: Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis), Eumerus ornatus and Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Common Fruit Fly (Tephritis bardanae), Moth Fly (Tonnoiriella pulchra), Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana), Possible Root-maggot Fly (Delia radicum)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum)

Slugs and Snails Recorded: White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis), Girdled Snail (Hygromia cinctella), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa)

Spiders Recorded: Sun-jumper (Heliophanus sp.)

Woodlice Crustaceans Recorded: Woodlouse sp


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.

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