31 May 18

Rufus Castle and Church Ope Cove

Well there's fog and there's fog and today's was a real pea souper. Even late into the day when the sun looked as if it would come out, back came the fog. Not wanting to deprive the dogs, Benji, Ted and Max a walk, my Granddaughter Holly and I took them for a walk down to Church Ope Cove.

En route we managed to find some bugs and creepy-crawlies, plus Holly even helped collect 5 pieces of plastic off the beach.

Well what did we find, we had 2 Plum Tortrix (Hedya pruniana), a Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum), 1 Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare), several Black Slugs (Arion ater), a Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa), a Broad Centurian (Chloromyia formosa) my first on Portland, a Dark Bush-cricket (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) and a Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)

The sea is out there somewhere!!

From the beach at Church Ope Cove looking up to Rufus Castle.

Even up close Rufus Castle is shrouded by fog.

On the beach a Common Carder Bee. Or is it, one to check properly.

Found by Holly, a Plum Tortrix.........

.........and another which I found.

A Chequered Hoverfly.

And again.

A Broad Centurian

Common Field Grasshopper

A Dark Bush-cricket

Found by Holly a Garden Snail and a Black Slug.

Holly and a Bladderwrack she found.

Another piece of seaweed, roots and all. 

And well done Holly in collecting 5 pieces of plastic from the beach, in fact there were 9 pieces all together.

30 May 18

Wakeham and Abbotsbury

Well it was a year ago today that Myself, Dawn, David, Benji and Ted moved here to Wakeham from Swindon. Where does the time go!

Today though it was off to Abbotsbury with two of my daughters and granddaughters, to visit the Children's Farm there. Funnily enough my granddaughters would have been the same age as my daughters when I last visited the Tithe Barn there.

Twenty years ago or so the Children's Farm didn't exist, but instead the Tithe Barn was home to hundreds of Chinese Emperor's Terracotta Warriors. Today they have moved and are now housed in a museum in Dorchester. More on the Barn Here

Here are a photos from today:

Abbotsbury Children's Farm with the Tithe Barn taking centre stage.

So many Jackdaws

Nesting in nearly every hole they can find.

And so inquisitive.

This pair of Mute Swans are now spending their second breeding season here and will return to the Swannery Here for the winter. This year they have 6 cygnets.
Here are 3 of them

The pond is popular with ducks like these "Tufties" Mallards, Coots and Moorhens.

So many Pheasants here.

And more.

An abbey wouldn't be the same without a few Fantail Doves

One of the owls at Abbotsbury courtesy of Sharandys Birds of Prey. Joanne holds a Tawny Owl with Lottie looking. More on Sharandys Here
Holly holding an American Kestrel called Pippa.

And Lottie's turn.

Lottie's not to sure about the Cockatiel or is that the other way round!

And a little Owl. A bit closer than you would get to the Little Owls at the Obs Quarry on Portland.

29 May 18

Easton and Wakeham

What a contrast in the weather with cloudy and windy conditions replacing the lovely warm sun we had been enjoying over the past few days. The only real highlight was a pair of Swifts over Easton.

In the back garden and inside the conservatory several Marmalade Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatusa). On the wall a 7-spot Ladybird and a bee which I think is an Andrena scotica landed on a leaf on the Cherry Tree which allowed me to get a real close-up before it flew off.

On the neighbours chimney pot the Herring Gulls are now feeding a hungry chick.

A Marmalade Hoverfly.

It's not often you can freeze a shot of them, let alone focus on them.

I believe this is one of the Andrenidae species.

And could well be an Andrena scotica 

Hopefully I will be able to get the correct ID.

A 7-spot Ladybird

And finally the Herring Gulls have a hungry mouth to feed on the neighbours chimney pot.

28 May 18

The Slopes

Love living on Portland, especially when you can just drop everything and go off and see a new bird that has arrived from across the Channel. This morning it was Rosy Starling which is thought to have been a different bird to the two seen at The Bill yesterday.

Apparently there is quite an influx of this beautifully coloured Starling on the Continent. This one today was outside the west fence of Qinetiq Here, which made it difficult to view firstly because of the haze and secondly because of the distance myself and other birders were having to view it from Here.

Also about a pair of Stonechats, a Skylark and a pair of Meadow Pipits collecting food for youngsters. Lots of Common Blues and Small Blues, plus what I believe is a Common-grass Veneer (Agriphila tristella).

Here are few images from this morning plus a very hazy video and images of the Rosy Starling.


........with the viewing point at the far right of the fence.

The Rosy Starling..........

............well camouflaged in the pink Thrift.

It was really hazy this morning, but you can just make out this adult Rosy Starling feeding in amongst the Thrift.


A Meadow Pipit with food.

A Skylark

A female Small Blue

And if I've got this right a Common-grass Veneer

A Guillemots egg which looks as if it was predated by a Raven.

Note: This is what a Rosy Starling looks like close-up. (This one was at Flamborough on 24 May 18)   Click Here.

27 May 18

Rufus Castle and Church Ope Cove

I spent an afternoon with 2 of my daughters and granddaughters on Church Ope Cove. It was boiling, but every now and then a bank of "sea cloud" passed over just to take the heat off.

Lots of bugs and things in amongst the rocks and a few on the plants at the back of the beach by the huts. We had Kelp Flies (Coelopa vanduzeei), Red Mites (Neomolgus littoralis), Sandhopper (Talitrus saltator), Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis), a very small Bumblebee and an even smaller black bug about 3mm long.

Below are a few images from this afternoon and click Here for a selection my 5 year old granddaughter Holly took on the beach and in my back garden. She certainly has an eye for a photo.

Holly practices her skimming skills with mum watching on......

........whilst Lottie is collecting coloured stones with her Auntie.

Some of the stones also had some colourful seaweed attached.

Beautiful colours.

The empty shell casing of a Spider Crab.

This is small, very small and one to ID.

Also on the rocks and pebbles hundreds of Red Mites (Neomolgus littoralis).

On the remains of a Spider Crab, dozens of Kelp Flies, Coelopa vanduzeei are having a feast.

A Sandhopper, Talitrus saltator

This very tiny Bumblebee was by Rufus Castle

Another view.

A few Wall Lizards out today.

A male Swollen-thighed Beetle, Oedemera nobilis.............

..........and another.

Always a delight to see a Wall Brown.

Out and about

A quick trip into Chickerell this morning and en route a Coal Tit in the grounds of All Saints C of E Church, Wyke Regis Here. On the way back at Ferrybridge there were 8 Bar-tailed Godwits on the shore-line.

Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge this morning.

Bar-tailed Godwits