Could the low cloud on Portland get any worse than it today. I thought I had found the perfect time to venture out, as it looked as if it was about to lift, but after 15 minutes the rain began to fall and the visibility went from bad to worse.
However and despite getting a soaking I did manage to see a Firecrest and a Goldcrest in Penns Wood (again) and another Firecrest in a new location at Church Ope Cove. As I was coming off the beach I decided to head up the cliff face path at the north end of the cove. As I did a Firecrest started to call and appeared in the brambles just behind the huts. No opportunity for a decent photo, but an interesting sighting, as all the Firecrests I have seen at the cove, have always been behind the huts at the back.
Other things of interest as I did a bit of beachcombing were lots of sandhoppers as I pulled back a few pebbles on the beach. Also in amongst them were dozens of very small black flies. A lot lot smaller than Kelp Flies and one I've not come across before.
Also on the beach lots of washed up empty Whelk egg cases and a few Cuttlefish bones.
On the way back up to the museum via Rufus Castle I came across an Alexanders in flower. Very early and one to keep an eye on, for any insects feeding on it in the weeks to come.
Here are a few images from today:
Not evident in this photo but it was chucking it down at the cove.
Also in amongst the pebbles were these tiny black flies.
Here's another at the top of the photo. They are one of the Coelopidae (Kelp Flies) of which there are many.
Washed up on the beach were several Cuttlefish bones and ..................
............empty Whelk egg cases.
As I was leaving the beach, through the cutting at the north end of the cove, I came across this......
...........thank goodness it popped up behind the Ivy. Just!!
On the Ivy alongside the path up to the Museum was this Wood Gnat, Sylvicola fenestralis
Also on the path this Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) in flower and..........
.........Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) which has been in flower all Winter.
Mammals Recorded: Grey Squirrel
Birds Recorded: 1 Cormorant, 2 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch
Amphipods Recorded: Sandhopper (Talitrus saltator)