24 Apr 20

Lower Horse Paddock, Shepherd's Dinner, Bumpers Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, Penn's Copse, Penn's Weare, Church Ope Cove, St Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

Well my walk started off with wall to wall blue skies and sunshine, and then a front moved in from the south. The temperature dropped a bit, but it did feel quite sultry, especially as there was no breeze. What was eerie though was the silence. As the skies darkened, the birds were singing in Penn's Weare as if it was their dawn chorus. Certainly a day unlike any other day I have seen over the past few weeks.

Highlight today was my first Common Whitethroat of the year, singing and churring in the brambles by The Cuttings. Below the Cuttings in Penn's Weare were 2 Lesser Whitethroats and the only other warbler I had was a Blackcap singing in Penns Wood. Other migrants were a few House Martins and Swallows passing over Church Ope Cove.

Just 2 butterflies seen a Peacock and a Large White.

The cooler conditions also saw fewer bees and hoverflies, though there were quite a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees in a Sycamore in The Cuttings, where I also came across singles of Grey-patched Mining Bee and Trimmer's Mining Bee.

There weren't that many hoverflies about and I found singles of Dead Head Hoverfly, Marmalade HoverflyEpistrophe eligans, a few Syrphus sp. and a Gossamer Hoverfly. The latter I found at the back of the cove and a first for me on Portland.

Also seen was a Bloody-nosed Beetle and I'm not 100% certain, but also a possible Great Green Bush Cricket. The latter was difficult to ID as it was in its nymph stage.

Here are a few images and videos from today:

My first Common Whitethroat of the year.

Not the best of recordings, but you can just about see and hear the Whitethroat, as it makes its way through the brambles.

As the cloud moved in over Portland the light began to fade. As it did the wind dropped and all you could hear were birds singing. If you didn't what time it was (it was 11:40am), you would have thought it was a Dawn Chorus in Penn's Weare. Birds singing and calling are Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Feral Pigeons, with 2 Wood Pigeons flying from right to left.

An abandoned Blackbird nest in Penns Wood. The past week or so I have seen the parents going back and forth with food for their chicks. By the looks of it, they have all fledged apart from one egg which didn't hatch.

A Grey-patch Mining Bee

Trimmer's Mining Bee

A Marmalade Hoverfly

Here it is again, this time coming into land on an Alexanders

And touch down.

And just the one Dead Head Hoverfly seen today.

And you would be forgiven, if you thought like me, that this was an Ichneumon Wasp.

It wasn't until it started................

................flying that I realised it was a hoverfly. This a Gossamer Hoverfly (Baccha elongata) and a new one for my Portland List.
This fly I believe is a member of the Tachinidae family and is a Macquartia sp.

Just the one Bloody-nosed Beetle seen today.

And you just have to have a video of these beetles, as they trundle along the paths. 

Not an easy one to identify, but my money is on this being the nymph of a Great Green Bush Cricket 

A Crab Spider with its lunch, an unfortunate Yellow Dung Fly I believe.

I think these are Hawkweed Ox-tongue (Picris hieracioides), which were growing on the south slope of Church Ope Cove.

A very quite Church Ope Cove

At this time of year there would have quite a few people on the beach

The only sound today was the waves washing up onto the beach.

And my best mate Ted. He loves his walks and even in the cottage he will follow me around, just in case there is another walk on the cards.

Birds Recorded: Cormorant, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, House MartinSwallow, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Siskin, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch

Butterflies Recorded: Peacock and a Large White Butterfly

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida) and a Trimmer's Mining Bee (Andrena trimmerana)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Dead Head Hoverfly (Myathropa florea), Epistrophe eligans, a Gossamer Hoverfly (Baccha elongata) and a few Syrphus sp.

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa), Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) and a Macquartia sp.

Crickets and Grasshoppers Recorded: Possible Great Green Bush Cricket nymph (Tettigonia viridissima)

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

Spiders Recorded: Crab Spider (Xysticus audax)

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

Today's Sightings Here.