26 Sep 18

Mermaid Track, Penns Weare, The Cuttings and Bumpers Lane

Phew what a change in the weather and I was well caught out when I wore my jacket for my walk this morning. The chilly night progressed into a glorious warm sunny afternoon and after walking a couple hundred meters it was jacket off time.

Some really good highlights with my alternative walk today. First off there were hundreds of Swallows, House Martins and a few Sand Martins feeding along the whole length of Penns Weare. Then I came across a Clouded Yellow and then at long last I found not one but 3 colonies of Ivy Bees.

Also recorded was a strange alarm call of a raptor/owl in Penn's Weare just below The Cuttings. Try as I could, using Xeno-canto, I couldn't find anything remotely similar to the calls. Odd. And another oddity here was what I presumed was a Goshawk. Certainly by its size it could have been, but having spoken to Martin Cade (the Warden at Portland Bird Observatory), it is most likely a large Sparrowhawk. The main feature being the outer-corners of the tail feathers. Goshawk's would have more rounded corner whereas like this individual the corners are "squared-off". There's a great Blog which shows the characteristics of both birds Here.

Other than the masses of hirundine there were several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps about, whilst overhead lots of Meadow Pipits were passing through.

Here are a few images from today.

An Ivy Bee

And another.

And one more.

My first colony of Ivy Bees, this one along Penns Weare.

Close to The Cuttings I found two more colonies.

Here's a close up of the 2nd colony.

It has taken me awhile, but today I found my first colony of Ivy Bees. In fact I found 3 colonies, this one along Penn's Weare and the other two close to The Cuttings

As a comparison this is a Honey Bee. A lot larger than an Ivy Bee.

One of the bumblebee family a Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Not a bee but a Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)

I cant figure out whether this is a fly or a hoverfly.

It certainly has an odd look about it!

A Speckled Wood

Red Admiral

A very distant view of Painted Lady.

A Common Field Grasshopper

These corvids are not happy about this Sparrowhawk being on their patch.

In fact more reinforcements arrived to see it off.

Here it can be seen soaring.

Now I was confused about this Sparrowhawk, which is why I asked for a second opinion. It just didn't look like the individual above and was a lot larger, almost the size of a Buzzard. However the corners of the tail are not rounded enough for a Goshawk. Like this individual the corners are very straight.
No confusion with this raptor...........

........a Kestrel at The Cuttings.

And a little later one by Bumpers Lane.

A Cormorant strikes a nice pose.

Whilst this Robin is about to fly off as it realises I'm pointing the camera at it.

A Wall Lizard basking in the warm sunshine.

A nice close up.

Church Ope Cove

Looking north across Weymouth Bay

A couple of new plants for me today this one is........

..........Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea

......and Common Hawkweed, Hieracium vulgatum.

..........which I first came across on 11 Oct 17 Here.

Birds Recorded: 3 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 7 Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, CommaLarge White, Small White and Green-veined White.

Also recorded: Ivy Bees, Honey Bee, Buff-tailed Bumblebee, wasps, Pied Hoverfly, Common Drone Fly and Tapered Drone Fly