30 Jun 18

Tout Quarry

Just a flying visit to Tout Quarry this afternoon, to see if I could track down the Grayling butterflies there. And I managed three, in exactly the same two spots I recorded them a couple of days ago.

Also about were Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Large White, lots of Ringlets & Meadow Browns, Marbled White, 1 Red Admiral, a Speckled Wood and 4 "blue" butterflies.

A few moths about with several Six-spot Burnet moths, 2 Scarlet Tiger (Callimorpha dominula), a beautifully coloured Rosy-striped Knot-horn (Oncocera semirubella) and a plume moth sp.. Unfortunately a couple of walkers put the latter up as I was about to photograph it.

I know not why, but why is that the only Common Darters I keep finding are all females!! They are certainly "common" on Portland as this the third spot I have come across one.

Also recorded: Great Green Bush-cricketMeadow Cricket, Common Soldier Beetles, Swollen-thighed BeetlesTiger Cranefly (Nephrotoma flavescens), dozens of Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees and a mason bee sp. maybe!

Here are a few images from today

Tout Quarry. Famous for its sculptures and well worth a visit for the number of butterfly species here.

This area was great for Graylings, next to the "Still Falling" sculpture

One of the three Graylings here today.

Lots of Meadow Browns.

They are certainly very numerous on Portland.

A Speckled Wood

Still plenty of Marbled Whites on the wing.

What a difficult butterfly to photograph. Always on the wing apart from this one. A Ringlet.

A female Large Skipper

A Scarlet Tiger, a new moth for me on Portland..

Six-spot Burnet Moth

A beautifully coloured Rosy-striped Knot-horn (Oncocera semirubella). As I knelt down to photograph it, it flew up onto my hand.
Another female Common Darter. where are all the males!!

A Tiger Cranefly

Great Green Bush-cricket, Tettigonia viridissima

Another angle

Meadow Cricket

In the left corner a Swollen-thighed Beetle and in the right a Common Soldier Beetle.

A mason bee maybe.

Lovely to hear a male Robin singing away in the quarry.

Note: Yesterday evening as I was checking the chickens I heard at least 2 Common Cranes calling. Try as I could, I couldn't locate them. Was someone watching cranes on a Nature programme or were there a couple of birds flying overhead. I guess I'll never know!!

29 Jun 18

Here There Everywhere

Too hot for any serious walks. However on my travels today, 20+ Swifts over Radipole, at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Ringed Plover on The Fleet


In the conservatory this morning two moths a Silver Y (Autographa gamma) and a Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata). Also "flitting" around UK's largest Cranefly (Tipula maxima).

Also 2 Swallows over the back garden.

Silver Y moth

Small Fan-footed Wave

This is Tipula maxima our largest cranefly in the UK.

28 Jun 18

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

There seems to be no end to this hot sunny weather and today seemed hotter despite the north-easterly breeze. I left it bit late this morning for a walk and that was noticeable by the lack of anything of note, other than my first Small Copper of the year. Other butterflies recorded were 4 Marbled Whites, 5 Meadow Brown, 6 Ringlets, 2 Large Whites, 2 Large Skippers and 1 Speckled Wood.

I didn't see a single moth, in particular 6-spot Burnet moths. You normally see at least one on this walk.

The sound of many grasshoppers was noted, not that I saw many. What I did see were dozens of Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees that have found a field full of what I believe is Goldenrod, or something very similar.

It looks like it was even too hot for the Wall Lizards and it's been a few days since I've seen one anywhere.

Here are a few images:

Church Ope Cove on a very hot June day.

One of a few Marbled Whites seen.

Just the one Speckled Wood found in Penn's Wood, where it was few degrees cooler in the welcome shade.

I think this is Goldenrod. Whatever it is, it is very popular with the bees, especially Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees.

27 Jun 18

Tout Quarry

On my wildlife wish list is a butterfly that I have never seen before and one that I was hoping to track down today. In fact it took me all of 8 minutes from the time I parked the car up until I found my first ever Grayling along the West Weare coast path behind Tout Quarry. And it wasn't the only one, as I came across at least 7 more along the tracks within the quarry.

Once I knew what I was looking for, it wasn't that difficult to find them. Unlike Meadow Browns and Ringlets, of which there were plenty, these Graylings were all on the tracks bar one which was on a rock. Once on the ground they then started walking. I'm not sure why they did this, but once they found the spot they wanted to be in, they positioned themselves head first towards the sun, minimising the shadow they produced.

The one I found on the rock was the only one to show both its underwings, revealing dark eye spots on the forewing. Not once though did I find one with the wings wide open. More on this butterfly Here.

It wasn't just the Graylings I recorded but also Small Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Large White, Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Blue, Silver-studded Blue, plus a couple of other "Blue" Butterflies to ID.

Along with dozens of Six-spot Burnets I also came across a Mother Shipton moth.

I also recorded my first 5-spot Ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) to add to my Port and Wey list which now boasts 7-spot, 10-spot, 14-spot and 22-spot Ladybirds.

I also came across several Summer Chafers (Amphimallon solstitialis), especially along the top of the West Cliffs, dozens of Meadow Grasshoppers (Chorthippus parallelus), Swollen-thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis), Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) and a Syrphus sp. hoverfly with a slight kink in its abdomen!

On the bird front I had Wheatear, 6 Swallows, a Kestrel, 2 Common Whitethroats, a family of Wrens and Greenfinches.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

My first ever Grayling.

And another.

Perseverance paid off as I found this one on a rock with the forewing raised, revealing the eye-spots.

I had real difficulty photographing Ringlets today, there was always a piece of grass......

......or a leaf in the way.

And when I did get one it was in the shade.

Lots of Meadow Browns on the wing.

A lot smaller than a Meadow Brown, this is a Small Heath.

And another.

Good numbers of Marbled Whites in the quarry........

........and along the West Cliffs.

Just the one Painted Lady.

Just 2 Red Admirals here.

A male Large Skipper

And another.

And a female Large Skipper. 

A tatty "Blue" Butterfly

As above.

And another "Blue" Butterfly

As above.

A Silver-studded Blue.....

......and another.

A Six-spot Burnet Moth. Certainly plenty of these along the cliff top.

And another.

Lots of these in the long grass a Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus

Wherever you travel on Portland you will come across a Swollen-thighed Beetle. They are very abundant.

Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva on an umbellifer.

My first 5-spot Ladybird.

A very numerous bee along this stretch the Red-tailed Cuckoo-bee, Bombus rupestris

A Syrphus sp. hoverfly, with a slight kink in its abdomen!

Pyramidal orchids, Anacamptis pyramidalis

A distinctive looking Orchid and fairly widespread on Portland.

Another new plant for me......

........and what a beautiful flowering plant it is............

....... this is Common Centaur (Centaurium erythraea). More on this plant Here.

A Greenfich

And a Wren with food for its youngsters.

Looking back along the West Cliff

Tout Quarry

Tout Quarry and "Still Falling" carved in the rock wall.

More on "Still Falling" Here

I found another carving of a face, which I couldn't find reference to. Perhaps its new.