11 May 18

Pennsylvania Castle Wood, St Andrew's Church and Rufus Castle

Certainly a different day weather-wise, with cloudy skies and few spots of rain late afternoon. Main highlight today were my first Swifts of the year with 3 over Rufus Castle. I say first in fact not quite true as an hour earlier I had one over Radipole as I was driving back through Weymouth. But the 3 here were the first ones for Portland.

Other highlights were a Continental Coal Tit in Pennsylvania Castle Wood and a Peregrine Falcon, which having just caught a pigeon, just didn't have the "strength" to lift it off the ground, so instead it transferred the weight of the pigeon to itself, by eating it on the cliff path at Church Ope Cove.

With the lack of any sunshine it meant very few bees, hoverflies or butterflies were out. A Red Admiral at Rufus castle was the only butterfly I came across.

Not to many birds about either with just 3 Chiffchaffs singing, 2 in Penn's Wood and another in Church Ope Cove Car park. Other Spring migrants about were 3 Swallows over Penns Weare, where there were also 2 Common Whitethroats.

One of the 3 Swifts over Rufus Castle this afternoon.

This Peregrine Falcon has just caught a feral Pigeon.......

........but despite repeated efforts to get it airborne gave up and started plucking it on the path.

This Peregrine Falcon was struggling to carry off this feral pigeon, so instead started to it on the coastal path.

In the grounds of Pennsylvania Castle this Horse Chestnut stump has...................

............... a huge bracket fungi growing on top. 

And in Penns Wood another. Both of which I believe are Polyporus squamosus, commonly referred to as Dryad's Saddle.

And to round off the walk Max and Ted meet Molly the pony. I don't think I've ever met such a placid pony before.

Birds Recorded: 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Kestrel, 2 Herring Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Swift, 2 Swallow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Continental Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also seen 1 Red Admiral.