20 Aug 18


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


Over Penns Wood this evening several Swallows feeding on insects above the tree tops.

19 Aug 18


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


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

18 Aug 18


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

A real odd looking creature.

More on Common Darter nymphs here.


Two Little Egrets here today.

One of the 2 Little Egrets at Castletown feeding in the shallows.

And the other one looking for a feeding spot.

17 Aug 18

Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

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

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

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

Also in the grounds of St Andrew's Church were 2 Common Darters, a female and a juvenile male. On the buddleia were a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and a Lesser Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella inanis).

On the way down the steps from Rufus Castle I always take a slight detour onto Penns Wear, its only a short walk, which takes you back to the bottom of the steps. Even though its a short walk, its quite surprising what you can find. Today it was grasshoppers, of which there were dozens, with lots of youngsters jumping about.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

A Speckled Wood along the Mermaid Track

Also here a Dead Head Hoverfly

I was going to say Common Carder Bee, but though not easy to see in this photo, it was considerably smaller than a Bombus pascuorum. Another one to ID
The view across Penn's Weare towards Lulworth Cove in the distance.

A Garden Spider packing its lunch

A grasshopper, though as to which one who knows.

Pennsylvania Castle at the top, centre the remains of St Andrew's Church and bottom right the bottom of the steps.

The ruins of St Andrew's Church

Two Wall Lizards eye each other up.

A Holly Blue

And a Common Blue

As above.

A Meadow Brown. This one seems to be the only one in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

Looking at the extended abdomen I would say this is a Tapered Drone-fly (Eristalis pertinax)

A juvenile male Common Darter, just showing a bit of red.

And a female, a lot greener.

A Lesser Hornet Hoverfly

An Ectemnius sexcinctus wasp.

And another one

On the leaves and tree trunks in Penn's Wood were dozens of Dead Head Hoverflies.

First appearance is that this "tame" juvenile Blackbird is blind in its right eye............

........however it does seem there is a pupil there. Whether it can see who knows, but it didn't seem to bothered and was feeding well on the blackberries.
A new notice board.........

........which is very informative. I hadn't realised there is no right of way through Penn's Wood to Church Ope Cove via St Andrew's Church. Apparently the Australian owner of Pennsylvania Castle, also owns the wood and has given consent to the public to use the track through it.

16 Aug 18

The Fleet

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

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

Here are a few images:

The Fleet looking west towards Abbotsbury in the far distance.

A Little Egret comes into land.......

......and immediately starts looking for food.

A nice pose......

....before getting down to the serious business of catching some small fish.

One of the 3 Ringed Plovers comes into land.

No 1

No 2

And no 3.

Just one here

And all three.

A Turnstone is another arrival.

Nice colours.

Two Sandwich Terns are next to arrive. You can just make out the juvenile on the right.

They stopped off to have a preen.

And a break before......

......having a bathe, before setting off again.

On the revetment wall one of the 2 local Pied Wagtails.

A few Starlings on the railings and in the back ground...........

.........Tiki our Shetland.

Mustn't forget Star either which hopefully will be in the water soon.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust out in their boat The Fleet Explorer. More on their Fleet Trips Here.

15 Aug 18

Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just the one Meadow Brown seen today. This one was in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

A male Common Blue along the Mermaids Track.

A Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)..........

........also known as the Large Earth Bumblebee.

A Common Carder Bee.

An unusual looking hoverfly which goes by the name of Xylota segnis. It doesn't have a common name.

My mystery hoverfly. All I can say is, it was a striking yellow and black!!

A Wall Lizard sunbathing on the Ivy.

And another in its more natural surroundings. Both in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

This brightly coloured bug is in fact the larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird.

And always great characters to see as they trundle along the pathways, a Bloody-nosed Beetle.