31 Jul 19

Out and about

Ferrybridge late morning and hundreds of waders on the sand-flats at low tide, plus several Oystercatchers as I was driving by.

In my Wakeham back garden this afternoon were several butterflies including a Painted Lady, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Large Whites and 2 Green-veined Whites. Also a few Red-tailed Bumblebees, Common Carder Bees and Honey Bees on the Lavender and Loosestrife.

And a late afternoon walk across the road from the Cottage in meadows, the old Easton Railway Cuttings and Perryfields Butterfly Reserve revealed several "blue" butterflies, a Peacock, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Large Whites and Green-veined Whites. No sign of any Six-Spot Burnet moths.

Along the Wakeham Wood track a Thick-headed fly (Sicus ferrugineus), a very popular fly that has a dedicated group of followers on Facebook Here.

Here are a few images from today:

In the back garden a Wren carrying food.

On the Lavender a Red-tailed Bumblebee

Whilst on the Loosestrife a Common Carder Bee.

Thick-headed fly (Sicus ferrugineus)

Thick-headed fly (Sicus ferrugineus)

Thick-headed fly (Sicus ferrugineus)

This is Tall Melilot, Melilotus altissimus and a member..............

..........of the Pea Family. A new one for my Portland List. More on this Plant Here.

Autumn berries. Blackberries and Honeysuckle. The latter poisonous

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here.

Today's Sightings Here.

30 Jul 19

Ferrybridge Sand-flats

With storm force winds along the south coast, it was off to Ferrybridge to see what if anything had been blown in. I arrived about 90 minutes after low water and the sand-flats were heaving with waders, gulls and terns.

In amongst the 100's of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were several Turnstones, a few Sanderlings, a Bar-tailed Godwit and my first Redshank of the year.

Also about were many Black-headed Gulls, a few Mediterranean Gulls including 2 juveniles, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls.

There were also 3 species of tern with several Sandwich Terns, 1 Comic Tern and 2 Little Terns. the latter catching fish in The Fleet.

Also noted were: Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and 200+ Starling.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

Ferrybridge Sand-flats

Oystercatcher and a juvenile Ringed Plover.

Two adult Ringed Plovers

Adult Ringed Plover

A 1st year and adult Ringed Plover

Squabbling Dunlin.

In amongst the Dunlin a Sanderling.

And another Sanderling.

Very busy Dunlin and Sanderling on the sand-flats this afternoon.

One of several Turnstones in amongst the pebbles and stones.

A Bar-tailed Godwit

And another view.

There are still a few Little Terns about. Here's one just behind the Herring Gull.

And another.

Ships Today

This is the Sailing Vessel "Black Pearl" flying the flag of the Cayman Islands. It left Gibraltar on 22 Jul and has been in Portland Harbour since yesterday.

It is owned by the Russian billionaire, Oleg Burlakov. 

Born in 1950 he is still active in banking, cement and natural gas. He is also known for his acting prowess and starred in both "Burnt by the Sun 2" (2010) and "Spores" (2011)

His yacht "Black Pearl" is estimated to be worth £164,227,000 and as the the country's 158th wealthiest businessman, with a net worth around £534 million, it is well within his budget.

 More on this vessel Here and Here.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here.

Today's Sightings Here.

29 Jul 19

Mermaid Track, The Cuttings Quarry, Rufus Castle, Penns Copse, Penns Weare, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

A reverse walk for a change and as luck would have it I came across a Wall Brown along the Mermaid Track. Very difficult to photograph, but I managed a shot and then wondered whether I would have seen it had I done my normal anti-clockwise walk. We will never know.

Still plenty of other butterflies about though it does appear that the Marbled Whites have fizzled out. Similarly there were no Six-Spot Burnet Moths either. The other butterflies were Chalk Hill Blues, Common Blues, Commas, Red Admirals, Large Whites, Green-veined Whites, Gatekeepers and Ringlets.

The only moths seen today were a Chalk Carper, 2 Carnation Tortrix and a Garden Grass-veneer

On the bird front there was a Blackcap and Chiffchaff along the Mermaid Track and another Chiffchaff in Penns Weare. In Penns Wood what sounded like a large family of Wrens with youngsters calling from nearly every bush around the old church ruins.

A Common Lizard was at Rufus Castle and the usual Wall Lizards in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

Here are a few images from this morning:

One of the local Buzzards passes overhead, much to the annoyance of the resident Herring Gulls.

A Common Blue

Chalk Hill Blue

As above with a Common Drone Fly for company

Another Chalk Hill Blue

The underside of a male Chalk Hill Blue

And the underside of a female Chalk Hill Blue

Another female Chalk Hill Blue

And as above with wings open.

A nomad bee. As I tried to get closer it flew off. So nomad sp. it will be

Church Ope Cove

At Rufus Castle a Common Lizard

Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)

Not sure what these are. I suspect Common Field Grasshopper..........

.........but it is very red.

A Wall Brown I found along the Mermaid Track

The grounds of St Andrew's Church

A different view of the church grounds.

Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard

Red Admiral

Comma and you can see how it got its name.


Gatekeeper on Hemp Agrimony

Holly Blue on Hemp Agrimony


The seed heads of the Alexanders.

Penns Wood

The Japonica is just coming out into flower.

And finally a fungi growing in Penns Wood.

Unfortunately I have no idea what it is.

But I will endeavour to find out.

Birds Recorded: Buzzard, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Linnet.

Reptiles Recorded: Common Lizard and 2 Wall Lizards

Butterflies Recorded: Small Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, 1 Wall Brown, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Holly Blue, Common Blue, Chalk Hill Blue.

Moths Recorded: 1 Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella), 2 Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana) and a Chalk Carpet (Scotopteryx bipunctaria)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and a nomad bee sp.

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) and Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax)

Grasshoppers and Crickets Recorded: Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) and Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus).


This afternoon a busy wasp was coming back and forth to a hole in a piece of wood we had around the herb garden. Turns out it was an Aphid Wasp. There are several species so difficult to pin it down to an individual species. More on this Pemphredon wasp species Here.

The Herb garden and a piece of wood which had an Aphid Wasp nest in it.

Here it is flying in to its......


And of out again.

This time it came back with an Aphid.

And then having stored it in the back of its nest was out again looking for another Aphid.

A short video of the Aphid Wasp coming in and out of its nest.

And finally we have 6 Giant Sunflowers. I haven't measure them yet but I reckon they are around 9ft tall.

Ships Today

This is the British Destroyer "HMS Dragon" just off Portland Bill. Sadly to far away to see the large Welsh Dragon on her bow.  More on this vessel Here and Here.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here.

Today's Sightings Here.