6 Mar 20

Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove, Church Ope Cove Wood, Penns Weare, Grove Cliffs, The Cuttings and Mermaid Track

Today I had an extended walk in the hope of finding a Wheatear along Penns Weare, no such luck, but before I set off I was at the cove with several lepidopterists looking for the Large Tortoiseshell butterflies seen here earlier in the week. Unfortunately luck was against them as well, but oddly enough we did come across a Small Tortoiseshell feeding on the Hebes next to the south facing huts.

Also along at the cove was a Peacock butterfly and a quite a few Wall Lizards. Overhead there were 3 Peregrine Falcons, a Common Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel, plus one of the local Ravens. The cove was certainly the place to be, and adding to the list above there were also 2 Firecrests in the cove wood calling away.

Elsewhere there was Firecrest and Chiffchaff in Penns Wood, where there was also a Red-tailed Bumblebee, and along Penns Weare I came across some really early Blackthorn blossom which were attracting a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees.

In the grounds of St Andrew's Church there were the usual Wall Lizards basking in the sun and on the Alexanders were many Muscid Flies, Common Drone Flies and a presumed Syrphus torvus hoverfly.

Also along Penns Weare I came across 3 Bloody-nosed Beetles.

Here are a few images and a video from today:

This is the south facing slopes at Church Ope Cove. On Monday and Tuesday of this week there were at least 3 Large Tortoiseshells. Today there was no sign of them but there was this.............

..............Small Tortoiseshell, also a rare sight on Portland

The church Wall Lizards. Great characters.

This Buff-tailed Bumblebee was really tucking into these early flowering Blackthorn along Penn's Weare.

Just the one Migrant Hoverfly today.

This hoverfly was quite small compared to both the Common and Tapered Droneflies out at the moment.....

.........and I was thinking maybe an Eristalis arbustorum. However it turns out to be a small Tapered Dronefly (E. pertinax). Apparently the adult sizes vary depending on how much they eat as a larvae, as do all hoverflies.

Most likely a Syrphus torvus hoverfly.
There were a few more of these Bloody-nosed Beetles out today, running along the paths in Penn's Weare.

I would like to think that this Portland Spurge (Euphorbia portlandica), but there is also a Sea Spurge. More on Portland Spurge Here. One to check again Spring/Summer.

And way way across Weymouth Bay is the headland of St Aldhelm's Head viewed from from Penn's Weare. The building in the middle, on top of the headland is St Aldhelm's Chapel Here. More on the Chapel Here and Here

Birds Recorded: Fulmar, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 3 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Kestrel, 2 Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 1 Rock Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Firecrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch
Reptiles RecordedWall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Butterflies Recorded: 1 Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell

Bees Recorded: Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) and Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

Hoverflies RecordedTapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), 1 Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) and a probable Syrphus torvus

Flies, Gnats and Midges RecordedKelp Fly (Coelopa frigida) and Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 3 Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

Ships Today

This is the British Cargo ship "Victress" on its way from Alderney to Poole. More on this vessel Here.

This is the British Buoy-laying vessel "Galatea" on its way from Harwich to Plymouth. Thank you to Andy my neighbour who spotted it. More on this vessel Here

This is the Maltese Tanker "Psara I" anchored in Weymouth Bay, which it was up until I started to type up my sightings. It has left Weymouth but there doesn't appear to be a destination. More on this vessel Here.

This is the Tanker "Desert Oak" flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. At the moment it is anchored up in Weymouth Bay. More on this vessel Here.

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

Today's Sightings Here.