30 Jun 20


Sometimes you have to face the consequences of your wishes. The past 3 days has seen strong westerlies, with gusts up to 40mph and I was wishing it would just to stop blowing. Today my wish came true, very little wind but oh my word there was wall to wall mist and constant drizzle. Yuk.

So for the second day running, there was no walk and the only highlights from the garden were singles of:

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis)- no surprise there

That wasp-like insect on the Dahlia again.

Also noted:
From the Lower Horse paddock, the male Common Whitethroat is still singing, despite the appalling conditions. Not sure what he was happy about!!

Looks are deceiving as the garden looks very clear, but believe me there was thick mist drifting all around the island.

Unsurprisingly I came across a White-lipped Banded Snail and no doubt I would have found other snails if I looked hard enough.

I have yet to get a decent photograph of this very tiny wasp-like insect, which has appeared for the second day running on one of my Dahlias. I still have no idea what species it is. Yet!!

Here are a few stills and a live stream from local Web Cams of the miserable weather today:

Portland Heights - Screen Grab

Portland Harbour - Screen Grab

Weymouth Beach and Bay - Screen Grab

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

Today's Sightings Here.

Today' Sightings Here.

29 Jun 20


Today was spent in the back garden, this time building a run for our three week old Khaki Campbell ducks. So not a lot of time spent checking out the wildlife. But then there wasn't a lot to see, as there hasn't been any let up in the strong westerly's, which have been blowing across the island for the third day running.

The male Common Whitethroat was heard singing in the Lower Horse paddock, whilst in the garden, 3 Wood Pigeons were stripping the cherries off the tree. Any cherries that fell were quickly picked off by the Blackbirds.

Not too many flying insects seen and with it being so cloudy, there were no damselflies about. There weren't too many bees either with just a Common Carder on the Purple Loosestrife, few Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe) on the lawn and if I've got it right a single Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida).

A Common Drone Hoverfly settled briefly on the paving slabs, but with no sun out, it soon disappeared down the garden.

Around the pond were a few Semaphore Flies, but with the cool conditions, there was no interaction between the males and females. And on one of my Dahlias I just managed to photograph a wasp-like insect, before it flew off.

And here are our Khaki Campbell's. Growing very quickly and becoming tamer everyday, as we hand feed them "greens". Its amazing what a bit of tempting of treats can do to win them over.

Yellow-legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipe)

And another.

I'm pretty sure this is a Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida).

A Common Carder Bee on the Purple Loosestrife. A plant, incidentally, which I have had since 1986, when I had one around my garden pond in Norfolk. Every time I moved I used to take a small piece and grow it in my next garden. Thirty-four years on and it still doing well.

This is a Common Drone Hoverfly and I'm pretty sure it was hoping for a warm stone to rest on. No such luck today.

And all the Semaphore Flies weren't feeling it either...........

..........with several just resting up.

And a record shot of what I can only presume is some sort of parasitic wasp or something similar.

Just the one juvenile Herring Gull on the nest between the neighbours chimney pots.

There were three originally, but sadly just the one now and a noisy one at that.

Always nice to see Benji running around the garden.

And as for Ted, well this is what he does best being inquisitive.

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

Today's Sightings Here.

Today' Sightings Here.

28 Jun 20

Old Quarry Lane, Wakeham Meadow, Perryfield Butterfly Reserve, Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church Grounds, Church Ope Cove, Penn's Weare, Penn's Copse, Rufus Castle, The Cuttings Quarry and Mermaid Track

Well if I thought yesterday was windy, well today was even windier with wind gusts up to 30mph. At least it was sunny, though seeking out flying insects proved pretty difficult. I did find some eventually, with many hunkered down in the meadow and butterfly reserve.

Two highlights today was finding a Long-legged Tabby (Synaphe punctalis) and a Red Bug (Deraeocoris ruber). The latter a member of the Miridae family and what I thought was my first for me on Portland. In fact it is my second, as my good friend Ed Wilson, has just informed me that the bug I had in the garden 26 Jun was also a Red Bug.

Here are a few images and videos from today:

Wakeham Meadow, where there were several Marbled Whites and this........

............very worn presumed Common Blue!! Still no sign of any Six-spot Burnet moths, but still quite a few Garden Grass-veneers hiding in the grass.

Next stop was Perryfields Butterfly Reserve, where the south westerly wind was keeping everything
down including this..........

..............Marbled White sat on a Knapweed. It is a Marbled White, but I dont recall ever seeing that thin brown line on the leading wing edge. So as you do, I googled Marbled White and came across one with a similar dark line. The funny thing was it was on the Butterfly Conservation Dorset Branch page Here. Perhaps the marking is a Dorset thing!!

And the Knapweed was also popular with Red-tailed Bumblebees like this male

From the Reserve it was across the road to a sheltered Penns Wood.

On the nettles in the wood was this Red Bug (Deraeocoris ruber) and a black variant. It is a member of the Miridae family and found on nettles. Flanking it are 3 Aphids. More on this Bug Here.

Next stop was St Andrew's Church and probably one of the most sheltered spot on the island today.

On the umbellifer another Common Red Soldier Beetle. I say another, as this is only the second one I have seen in the past 3 days. My first one was between Wakeham Meadow and the butterfly reserve on Friday. There will be many more I'm sure.

A black and yellow wasp with 12 legs, 2 pairs of antennae and two heads. Not some weird Portland insect, but a pair of Potter Wasps mating. Both have black and yellow bands, which are different between the male and female.

A flash of red and then it was gone. I just managed to fire off one shot of the camera, to capture this Scarlet Tiger moth flying along the wall of the church ruins. Next second it disappeared into the undergrowth.

A very bright but breezy Church Ope Cove. As you......

.........can tell from this short video.

On the way down the steps to beach I came across this Sawfly and also a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.

And then on the beach I came across a Wall Lizard basking in the sun. Well it was until a gust of wind sent into hiding.

Biting Stonecrop, Sedum acre on Penn's Weare, with Rufus Castle as a backdrop.

From the weare it was off to The Cuttings Quarry and.......

...........my second Wall Lizard on my walk. This one is a juvenile.

Apart from a pair of Lulworth Skippers I also came across this Long-legged Tabby (Synaphe punctalis) and a new one for my Portland Moth List.

Also here were a few Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) in flower.

And the final leg of my walk, was along the Mermaid Track

Along here I came across a Large Skipper, this........

............Variable Wasp Hoverfly (Chrysotoxum elegans) and another........

.........hoverfly. This one is The Footballer (Helophilus pendulus)

Do you get the sense Ted is waiting for me. Maybe not in this photo.

How about this one. Yep that's him the white dot half way up the steps to the Castle.

Despite the wind it was quite warm, and when you've been running around as much as Ted has, then a nice shady spot is what you need.

Birds Recorded: Buzzard, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Swift, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard

Butterflies Recorded: Lulworth Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Marbled White and a Common Blue

Moths Recorded: Garden Grass-veneers (Chrysoteuchia culmella), Scarlet Tiger moths (Callimorpha dominula) and a Long-legged Tabby (Synaphe punctalis)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and an Andrena sp.

Wasps Recorded: Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta), Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria), Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris) and The Footballer (Helophilus pendulus)

Flies, Craneflies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Muscid Flies sp.

Crickets and Grasshoppers Recorded: Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), Swollen-thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis), Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) and a Red Bug (Deraeocoris ruber)

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

Today's Sightings Here.

Today' Sightings Here.

27 Jun 20


I had a busy day in Dorchester then Weymouth, so no walk today, but at least I managed a walk in the garden, once the rain had moved on.

Despite the stiff breeze there were quite a few Marmalade Hoverflies about, plus a couple of Long Hoverflies. However there were only two bee species seen, a single Common Carder and several Yellow-legged Mining Bees.

A bit of a surprise was finding 2 male Blue-tailed Damselflies around the pond, especially with the miserable weather throughout the day. On the pond surface the male Semaphore flies were putting on a good display for the females.

And the male Common Whitethroat has started singing again in the Lower Horse paddock.

A male Blue-tailed Damselfly clings onto the plant stem in the stiff breeze.

Another one decides to keep low down on a rock and then.....

........decides an Oyster shell is a better option. Well for a few seconds at least. As it flew so a male Semaphore fly starts displaying to a female close by.

Not the clearest of photos, but in the middle of the frame is a male Semaphore fly.

One of the two Long Hoverflies in the garden today.

There were some good numbers of Marmalade hoverflies today, with several flying up and down the garden.

Apart from several Yellow-legged Mining Bees there was also this Common Carder Bee.

And the ants nest that was in flower bed has spread to the lawn and............

..............there were hundreds.

Garden List is Here.

Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Common Whitethroat, Magpie, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch

Dragonflies and Damselflies Recorded: 2 Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Butterflies Recorded: None

Moths Recorded: None

Bees Recorded: 1 Common Carder (Bombus pascuorum) and 7+ Yellow-legged Mining Bees (Andrena flavipe)

Hoverflies Recorded: 7+ Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) and 2 Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta)

Flies Recorded: Semaphore Fly (Poecilobothrus nobilitatus)

Ants Recorded: 100's ants sp.

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

Today's Sightings Here.

Today' Sightings Here.