31 Aug 17

Bumpers Lane, Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve and Quarry

A very local walk this evening taking in the butterfly reserve and quarry. main highlights were 6 Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers in the trees along Bumpers Lane and 4 species of butterfly & 2 moths. These were a Gatekeeper, Small Heath, Large White and Speckled Wood. The moths were at least 8 Garden Grass-veneer and 1 Silver Y

As I was heading back towards the quarry a quick look across the sea and there was HMS Diamond (D34) heading towards Portsmouth, though on the shipping map it was still east of the Isle of Wight.

A rather bedraggled Gatekeeper......

.........and a slightly better conditioned Small Heath.

One of the day-flying moths, a Silver Y. Though I didn't get a photo of any of them, there were also at least 8 Garden Grass-veneers on the wing.
A Great Black-backed Gull

And a very distant shot of HMS Diamond, a Type 45 Destroyer and part of the Royal Navy's commitment in hunting pirates, drug runners or submarines, defending the Fleet from air attack, and providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters. More Info Here.

30 Aug 17

Church Ope Cove

Sadly not much to report about as the rain finally passed away this afternoon. Just a handful of Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff was the best I could find.

There were a couple of Cormorants out to sea and 3 Herring Gulls, which was it. A real lull after previous days.

No butterflies about and just a few White-tailed Bumblebees and Common Carders seen.

This was just one of two Cormorants seen out to sea.

A Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum

29 Aug 17


Very quiet this morning, with very little movement of birds heading south, though a Grey Wagtail was a new tick for me as it flew over Tescos. There were no Yellow Wagtails heard until after 3:00pm where several passed over the cottage heading south.

A Common Darter visited the garden, but sadly didn't hang around to be photographed.

28 Aug 17

Bumpers Lane and Rufus Castle

The Yellow Wagtails continue to pass overhead, and as Dawn and I walked along the cliffs at the back of the cottage, that was all you could hear. Even now as I type, 3 hours on, all I can hear are more calling as they fly over the cottage. There must be hundreds on the island.

Our walk today was along Bumpers Lane onto the cliff, down past the climbers and then back towards Rufus Castle, before cutting back on Wakeham to the quarry at the back of the cottage.

En route there was a great start with a Whinchat in the horse field along Bumpers and then 4 Yellow Wagtails on the cliff top. Other highlights were dozens of Swallows passing through and a Tree Pipit.

Butterflies seen were Small Blue, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and I also seem to be in the right place at the right time for yet another male Clouded Yellow.

Lots of bees still about with quite a few Honey Bees and White-tailed Bumblebees. Also several Common Droneflies.

The Wall Lizards were on the usual spots on walls of Rufus Castle.

Birds Recorded were: Buzzard, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Whinchat, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Our route today. 1. Whinchat and 2. Yellow Wagtails

This flighty Whinchat couldn't make up its mind whether it wanted to be on the post......

........in the hedge.......

.........on another fence.........

.......or off somewhere else.

Two of the 4 Yellow Wagtails on the cliff top.

Here is a male.

A lovely pose of a Meadow Brown.

A Wall Lizard in the walls of Rufus Castle.........

...............and a youngster.

27 Aug 17

Southwell and Culverwell

Back to Southwell today, though instead of walking along the coast path and back I doubled back from the fields just up from the Observatory.

As I parked up in Sweethill road there were 200+ Swallows and House Martins on the telephone wires and a further 200 over the fields by the farm.

In the top fields by the farm there were 52 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Pied Wagtails, 4 Wheatear and a hen Pheasant. In the hedgerow here there were 2 Common Whitethroat and 50+ Linnet and Goldfinch. Overhead more Yellow Wagtails heading south and 5 Skylarks heading in the opposite direction.

At Culverwell there a few warblers about with 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff. Also here was a Spotted Flycatcher, Goldcrest, Robin, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Overhead a Tree Pipit passed by.

I crossed the road at Culverwell and a quick scan across the horse fields revealed more Yellow Wagtails and a few Meadow Pipits.

I doubled back and returned along the same route and came across Speckled Wood, Red Admirals, a Peacock butterfly, both Large & Small Whites, Meadow Brown and a Small Copper.

My route today from 7:00am - 9:50am

The Swallows and House Martins gathering on the wires along Sweethill Road.

Not sure what happened here but as the Swallow flew by so the Goldfinch fell off the wire.

A few Yellow Wagtails

And some more

A few here dodging the hooves of the pony.

A juvenile Pied Wagtail and a Wheatear.
Here another poses for me...........

..........and lets me get real close.

Having heard a Pheasant yesterday in Wakeham, here we have a hen on the wall along the Top Fields.

The view looking south of the Bird Observatory and Lighthouse.

The path looking back from Culverwell. The Blackberry bushes are full of berries now.

An interesting silhouette of a Wheatear and a Herring Gull


......last week there was a Yellow Warbler here. This morning I had Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.
Across the road from Culverwell a Meadow Pipit joins more Yellow Wagtails.

Back at Culverwell a Greefinch

Another view looking south.

A Peacock Butterfly sunning itself.

A record shot of a Small Copper at Culverwell.

Birds recorded this morning were: Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 5 Skylark, House Martin, Swallow, 1 Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 5 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Butterflies Recorded wereLarge White, Small White, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Peacock and Small Copper

26 Aug 17


With the builder gone it was down to Dawn and me to finish of some of the outstanding jobs left, such as painting the ceilings and walls in our bedroom, plus painting the outside of Polly's Cottage around the porch and the Portland Stone Gutter.

The beauty of working outside is that you are that much closer to the wildlife when your up on the roof. Highlights today were 2 Tree Pipits and 8 Swifts heading south, and something I wasn't expecting a Pheasant calling from the direction of the path leading to Tescos from Wakeham.

Other wildlife recorded during the day was a Goldcrest in the back garden, where there was also a Red Admiral, Large White, Small White and a Meadow Brown.

Just a few touches of paint by Dawn.......

.....and the renovation of Polly's Cottage is nearly complete.........

.........well the front porch is!

25 Aug 17


Another busy day, painting the living room walls with lime and cleaning up after the builders for the last time as they finished re-pointing and putting up new ceilings. Polly's Cottage is looking great and it's just the roof to fix now.

Only sightings today were a Buzzard over and Chiffchaff calling from the Sycamores at the back of the Cottage.

24 Aug 17


Oh dear its not often I can't get out and about, but today was one of those days where the builders needed my help cleaning up. So the best I could do was one House Martin over the Cottage as I ferried the last of the rubble to the back garden. Hopefully more tomorrow. Birding that is and not a builders lackey.

23 Aug 17

Church Ope Cove

The usual walk today with the quarry included.

Main highlight was a Garden Warbler in Bumpers Quarry, where there was also Mimic Hornet Hoverfly on the track and a Common Blue along the hedgerow.

Also about were 2 male Migrant Hawkers at St Andrews Church where there were also 6 Wall Lizards and a Pellucid Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens).

Other birds about were Buzzard, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, House Martin, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Bumpers Lane Quarry where there was a Garden Warbler this afternoon.

A Mimic Hornet Hoverfly on the track leading up to Bumpers Lane.

A Wall Lizard.......

.....and another. In fact there were 6 in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

Also in the grounds a Pellucid Hoverfly on a Buddleia.

A Common Buzzard past by and as usual had a posse of Herring Gulls behind it.

22 Aug 17


Mega busy day as the the builders lackey, moving "tonnes" of rubble from inside the house to the back garden. Sadly no time for any bird watching, though for a few seconds late morning I watched around 30 Swifts and a dozen or so Swallows pass low over the house heading south.

Late News

Oh dear it appears I missed all the excitement yesterday with a Yellow Warbler at Culverwell. That's two really good birds I've missed out on, with the Great Shearwater last month. Perhaps 3rd time lucky!

21 Aug 17

Church Ope Cove

Great to see that Summer is back. My usual walk down to Church Ope Cove via St Andrews Church. The grounds at St Andrews are an absolute sun trap and it was no wonder that there were so many insects about with Hornet Mimic Hoverflies, Common Droneflies, Tapered Droneflies, Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea) and a male Migrant Hawker.

Butterflies here were Red Admiral, Comma, Meadow Brown, Large White and I hope I've got this right this time a Small Blue.

Other sightings on my walk were a couple of Wall Lizards on the steps up to Rufus Castle, a Kestrel doing quite well catching grasshoppers on the cliffs overlooking the Cove and two Wall butterflies that didn't stop long enough for a photo.

Other butterflies seen were Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue and I think I also had my first Adonis Blue.

 I also had 3 Chiffchaffs, a Raven and the usual herring Gulls.

Here are a few images:

A Speckled Wood in the shade of the wood close to Penns Castle.

A Small Blue.........

.......hopefully I've got it right this time. If so my first here.

A Common Dronefly........

......and Dead Head Fly, Myathropa florea.

A male Migrant Hawker, honest! Just a shame it wouldn't come to rest.

A Mimic Hornet Hoverfly

Church Ope Cove.

One of the Wall Lizards posing on the steps up to Rufus Castle.

A Kestrel hovering over the cliffs at the Cove.

A Green-veined White.

A Common Blue.....

And another!

Could this be an Adonis Blue with the black lines running through the white edging!