26 Feb 20

Lower Horse Paddocks, Broadcroft Quarry Pools, Shepherd's Dinner, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penns Copse, Penns Weare, Church Ope Cove, Church Ope Wood, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood

A brighter sunnier day, with a stiff WNW wind coming across the island. Apart from my first leg of my walk, the rest was in the relatively sheltered eastern side of Portland, though there was a bit of a draft coming down through Penns Wood.

Main birding highlights today were 3 Firecrests, 2 in Penns Wood and a single bird at the back of the cove. They seemed to have seen off the Goldcrests, not seen the latter apart from an odd one, for a few weeks now.

Was nearly caught out by a Great Tit calling not once but twice, both occasions I thought it was Chiffchaff. It wont be long I'm sure, before they start appearing.

Also seen today were 12 Wall Lizards with 9 in the church grounds, 2 behind the beach huts and another at the top of the steps by Rufus Castle.

The biggest highlight today though was a Common Shrew which was sunbathing (until I nearly stood on it) on the diagonal path which takes you across the south facing cliff at the cove, from the main steps down to the beach huts Here. More on Common Shrews Here.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or it. It didn't venture far and I could see it under the Ivy leaves. No opportunity for a photo, but lovely to see and my first on Portland.

There were a few bees about with a couple of Tree Bumblebees, an Early Bumblebee and a Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

Three species of hoverfly seen with Common Droneflies and Tapered Droneflies, and a Syrphus sp. possibly S. torvus which does appear in Winter, but then the weather is mild enough for any of them to appear. Not a single Migrant Hoverfly found today.
Lots of flies again with good numbers of Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa) and a few Yellow Dung Fly.

Here are a few images from today:

Some good numbers of Wall Lizards out today. All........

..........jostling for the best spot.

This one has found a good ledge to sunbathe on.

This Wall Lizard was one of two which are on the coast path just behind the beach huts.

A Tree Bumblebee. I'm starting to see a few these now. This one was "sunbathing" on Comfrey leaf in Penns Wood.

One of the Syrphus hoverflies. Very early, could possibly be Syrphus torvus which can be seen in Winter. However with this mild Winter it could be any of the Syrphus's.

With the Alexanders flowering just about everywhere, there are more and more of these Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa) appearing.

A Black Slug also on an Alexanders.

And Ted

Mammals Recorded: Common Shrew (Sorex araneus)

Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Firecrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: 12 Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Amphibians Recorded: Toad Spawn

Bees Recorded: Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) and Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) and a Syrphus sp. possibly S. torvus

Flies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa) and Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

Slugs and Snails Recorded: Black Slug (Arion ater)

Ships Today

This is the Liberian Container Ship "Ever Gentle" on its way from Tanjung Peleps (Malaysia) to Rotterdam (Holland). More on this vessel Here.

This is the Cypriot Container Ship "CT Rotterdam" on its way from Rotterdam (Holland) to Dublin. More on this vessel Here.

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

Today's Sightings Here.