12 Jul 18

Mermaid Track, The Cuttings and Broadcroft Quarry Pools

A different walk today, though walking down the Mermaid Track was a bit like Groundhog Day, with both the Dead Head Fly and Speckled Wood sat on the same leaves as yesterday.

Further along the track I came across my first Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) on Portland and also a female Chalk Hill Blue. I've only ever seen a male or two along here before.

As I followed the path around towards The Cuttings I came across more Chalk Hill Blues and lots of Gatekeepers. Whether it was the hot sunny conditions, I'm not sure, but there appeared to be less Meadow Browns and Ringlets about. In fact the only Ringlets I came across were very worn ones. Still a few Marbled Whites about and I had a couple of fly-by Peacock butterflies.

Above The Cuttings I was pleased to see that the Chalk Hill Blues had returned to a patch of ground just off Bumpers Lane.

A few moths about again, predominately Six-spot Burnets and as I brushed past a Bramble bush a Silver Y flew out.

And finally I came across another Paper Wasp, to add to the one I found in my back garden.

Here are today's images as I found them along the walk.

The Dead Head Fly on almost the same leaf as yesterday.

And likewise with this Speckled Wood.

Great to capture these Marmalade Flies in flight.

Not sure why, but this is my first Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) on Portland. This is a comparatively new Bumblebee to the British Isles and is also known as the New Garden Bumblebee. More on this bee Here.

One of the sweat bees I expect.

The Mermaid Track is proving to be a good little spot for Chalk Hill Blues........

........this one today was a female. You can just make out the orange spots on a dark upper wing.

Common Red Soldier Beetles and an ant.

They are just about everywhere - Gatekeepers.

Another Chalkhill Blue.......

........this time a male.

And another view.

Another Gatekeeper

A rather worn Ringlet.

This is a Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) which I came across by The Cuttings. The only other red-tailed bee I've come across is its smaller cousin the Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee, of which there were very few on the wing today. Well it was pretty hot again.


Another Chalkhill Blue and this time on their favoured patch alongside Bumpers Lane. This area was covered in Portland dust, as lorry load after lorry load of stone and rubble was dumped into the small quarry here. With no rain, the area here was a barren wasteland, but it looks like at least 10 Chalk Hill Blues have returned.

By Broadcroft Quarry Pools there were many Gatekeepers again with several mating.

A very small and very dark coloured Skipper. Having said that the photo here shows a few areas of gold, which suggest that this is a very worn Small Skipper.

This one was flying alongside and is intact, regards to its colouration.

Having seen my first European Paper Wasp, Polistes Dominula in the back garden a couple of days ago, I came across another just 200 metres from the Cottage.


At 8:40 this morning I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling from across the road. The same/different bird was later seen at The Bill Here.