23 Jun 18

Mermaid Track and Rufus Castle

A much shorter walk this afternoon, as it would have been too hot for Benji and Ted to have walked any great distance. It was certainly another scorcher with temperatures well into the 20's.

I certainly didn't fall short on any wildlife and had some interesting insects on my walk, with a hoverfly Xylota segnis, a 2nd instar nymph of a Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), a Scorpionfly (Panorpa germanica), a Sand Wasp (Ectemnius sp.), several Dark Bush-crickets and my first Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) on Portland.

On the butterfly front, I came across 2 Marbled White butterflies, several Meadow Browns, 2 Ringlets, a Common Blue and singles of Small Skipper and Large Skipper.

Just two moths a Silver Y and a possible Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata).

Not too many birds on this particular walk, but I did have a very vocal male Blackcap singing away along the "Mermaid" track Here.

Here are few images from this afternoon:

A Harlequin comes into land and begins to fold up its wings.........

......and then seeks a bit of shade. More on this invasive ladybird Here.

Several Meadow Browns on the wing........

......and a Marbled White. I came across two today along the "Mermaid" track.

Hopefully I've got this the right way round a Small Skipper......

.........and a Large Skipper.

A Common Blue. The only one I saw on my walk.

This is a very odd looking hoverfly........

.......and is a Xylota segnis. This hoverfly doesn't have a common name but here is an interesting extract courtesy of Wikipedia "The genus name Xylota is the Latinized form of the rare Byzantine-Greek ξυλωτή [xsylōtē] meaning wooden, while the Latin species name segnis means slipping or lazy, as this hoverfly usually rests on a leaf and it does not fly frequently. The translation of the taxon could be "lazy wood fly".

Countless numbers of these Swollen-thighed Beetles about. This male has just landed on the flower of a Bindweed.

A 2nd instar nymph.......

...........of the Common Green Shieldbug, Palomena prasina

Looking back towards the archway at Rufus Castle. Along the well vegetated wall I came across..........

...........this Scorpionfly, Panorpa germanica.

Despite its fierce looking appearance it feeds mainly on rotting fruit and plants, and occasionally on dead insects.

I think this is a Sand Wasp, but as to which one, I'm not sure. So Ectemnius sp. for the time being.

Sometimes you only get shot and for this particular moth that was the case. I believe its a Small Fan-footed Wave, Idaea biselata.

Ships Today

It has been awhile since I have noticed any ships sailing past Portland, but today this Crude Oil Tanker flying the flag of the Marshall Islands was on its way to Fawley from the Suez, Egypt. More on the "Pink StarsHere.