6 Sep 18

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

Sadly the beautiful blue sky of the morning gave way to a cloudy and breezy afternoon. There were a few threatening rain clouds, but fortunately for us on Portland it looked as if any rain was falling on the mainland.

Main highlights were the increased number of warblers heading down Penns Weare with Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs making their way down towards The Bill. In Penns Wood there was a good flock of Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits making their way through the tree canopy. Also here a Spotted Flycatcher.

Only 2 butterflies seen on the walk, both of which were Speckled Woods found in the grounds of St Andrew's Church. Also here a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria).

Interestingly the first of the Ivy flowers have opened on a plant in Penn's Weare and has become the focus of dozens of hoverflies, bees and wasps. Hopefully in the next week or so, the Ivy at Rufus Castle will bloom soon and the possibility of some Ivy Bees.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

A Bloody-nosed Beetle in its usual spot along the South-west Coast Path

A Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax) on Ivy flowers.

The rear end of a Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea)

The view looking south over Church Ope Cove from Penn's Weare.

This Kestrel was well hidden in the trees overlooking St Andrew's Church. 

A Wall Lizard. This is the first time I have noticed those blue scales along its flanks. Something else I also learnt today was that Wall Lizards are threatening the existence of our native Sand Lizards, a bit like the Grey Squirrels pushing out the Reds. More on this Here.
One of the 2 Speckled Woods in the grounds of St Andrew's Church...........

........where there was also this Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.

After an absence of a week or so, these Harlequin Ladybirds............

.......have popped up again in Penn's wood.


Early this morning a Willow Warbler was feeding on insects in the neighbours overhanging Clematis. Also plenty of activity on the Sunflower Feeders with Great Tit, Blue Tit and Greenfinch all visiting.

At 12:05pm a Tree Pipit passed over the house heading south.

An adult male Greenfinch...........

........and one of its youngsters, judging by the moult.

Ships Today

This the Dutch Cargo vessel Lady Anne Lynn on its way to Fowey from Poole. More on this General Cargo ship here.