Tuesday 30 May 2023

Tuesday 30th May

Another hot day with breeding birds to the fore, many species are now feeding young, although a female Whitethroat could only muster a few aphids from a blossoming Hawthorn, several pairs of Moorhen remain on the nest, family parties of up to 60 Starling are foraging across site and some species such as Little Grebe and Stonechat are already on round two. 

Elsewhere the Dark-bellied Brent Goose was in the estuary with a flock of c30 small waders in the Bight difficult to view in the haze but mostly Ringed Plover, with a few Dunlin and Sanderling.

Wildlife News: The weather brought several new species for the year including the first Meadow Brown, 11 days later than last year. Conversely a Bare-saddled Colletes C.similis was several weeks early.

Bare-saddled Colletes - Alan Keatley

The Meadow Brown was one of nine butterfly species including Brown Argus and a couple of Red Admiral. The latter were no doubt migrants as a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was in the Back Meadow, with at least 25 Marmalade Hoverfly and a White-clubbed Glasswing Scaeva pyrastri on site. Further hoverflies noted included Bumblebee Volucella bombylans and Pied Plumehorn V.pellucens, Tiger Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus and Meadow Boxer Platycheirus peltatus.

Bumblebee Plumehorn - Alan Keatley

Others records included Cream Spot Ladybird, Alder Spittlebug Aphrophora alni, the moths Purple Bar and Twin-barred Knothorn Homoeosoma sinuella, and new for the Recording Area; a St John's-wort leaf beetle Chrysolina hyperici, a leafhopper Megopthalmus scabripennis and a fern feeding sawfly Aneugmenus coronatus

Aneugmenus coronatus - Alan Keatley

Purple Bar - Alan Keatley

Chrysolina hyperici - Kevin Rylands

Despite the records above insects numbers still remain low especially on the abundant Hemlock Water-dropwort and Hawthorn.

Monday 29 May 2023

Monday 29th May

Two Avocet on the exposed sandbars offshore early morning were a surprise, just the fourth May sighting for the Recording Area. Also offshore 65 Kittiwake, 20 Gannet, 20 Common Scoter and a Great Northern Diver.

Overhead a site record three Hobby flew through before 7.35am, no doubt following a late pulse of hirundines including 96 Swift, 15 House Martin and two Swallow. Elsewhere 25 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and nine Sanderling were in the estuary on the rising tide with increasing numbers of juvenile Linnet about site and a couple of fledged Great Tit, matching the low broods reported at other locations this spring. 

Wildlife News: A Green Hairstreak on the Golf Course was just the second record since 2018. 

Green Hairstreak - David Flack

Sunday 28 May 2023

Sunday 28th May

Another hot and hazy day, this combined with the low tide meant the assorted small wader flock on the mudflats, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling were detectable but uncountable due to the heat haze, more obvious the Curlew and Oystercatcher, plus the single Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Earlier 75 Sanderling were on the beach with three Dunlin arriving in-off the sea.

Offshore some very light early morning movement with 16 Gannet, 13 Swift, five Manx Shearwater, three House Martin and two Swallow east, and eight Common Scoter and three Sandwich Tern in the bay.

Wildlife News: Again plenty of dragonfly activity around the Main Pond with six species including mating Red-eyed Damselfly and Broad-bodied Chaser and two Hairy Dragonfly, including a female ovipositing, a rare proven breeding attempt for the Warren.

Butterflies numbered just seven species including Brown Argus and a migrant Red Admiral with Silver Y again throughout site and a Portland Ribbon Wave.

Portland Ribbon Wave - Alan Keatley

Emerging insects today included Pied Plumehorn Volucella pellucens and Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria in the Entrance Bushes and several Common Spiny Digger Wasp Oxybelus uniglumis in Skipper Meadow.

Common Spiny Digger Wasp - Alan Keatley

Hornet Hoverfly - Alan Keatley

Dingy Flat-body Depressaria daucella - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 27 May 2023

Saturday 27th May

The most obvious migrant today was surprisingly Mute Swan with four south offshore early morning and another five south from the estuary latter on. Also offshore an Arctic Skua harassing Kittiwake late morning, 13 Common Scoter, three Sandwich Tern, a third summer Mediterranean Gull, an immature male Eider and single Great Crested Grebe and Great Northern Diver.

Elsewhere a late Willow Warbler was considered to be the of the acredula race, a Jay flew over the Entrance Bushes, the first Moorhen brood hatched at the Main Pond and in the estuary at high tide, 88 Sanderling (on the beach), 25 Ringed Plover, 23 Curlew, 11 Dunlin, five Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Wildlife News: The highlight was a male Red-eyed Damselfly at the Main Pond, a first for the Warren and the 27th Odonata species for the Recording Area. A possible Scarce Chaser at the Dune Pond would have only been the second record if confirmed. Four other species were noted including the first Emperor of the year.

Red-eyed Damselfly - David Flack

The first Alexanders Conch Aethes deaurana of the year was around the Car Park, other moths included a Cream-spot Tiger on Warren Point, with Yellow Belle, Yellow Shell and a few migrant Silver Y across the site, a White-clubbed Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri was also a migrant, but other insects remained scarce. 

Aethes deaurana - Kevin Rylands

The first Blue-eyed Grass are staring to flower, with Ragged Robin also out amongst the Southern Marsh Orchid in Greenland Lake. A fourth Green-winged Orchid of the year was found by the Main Pond.

Common Blue - Kevin Rylands

Thursday 25 May 2023

Thursday 25th May

A summer plumaged Little Stint in the Bight was the highlight, showing continued spring wader passage, other counts included 53 Sanderling, 38 Dunlin, 33 Ringed Plover and 19 Turnstone with the Dark-bellied Brent Goose also in the estuary. 

Elsewhere an immature male Eider was offshore along with a pair of Shelduck escorting three young chicks towards the estuary. Other breeding signs included a pair of Long-tailed Tit were feeding young in the nest near the First Pond and Little Grebe continuing to try to keep their young away from a Grey Heron at the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: A Hairy Dragonfly was again along the track by the Main Pond with a Broad-bodied Chaser in Greenland Lake, whilst new emergences included Turnip Sawfly Athalia rosae and Blood-vein moth.

Turnip Sawfly - Alan Keatley

Also on the wing Furry Dronefly Eristalis intricarius, Red-banded Sand Wasp Ammophila sabulosa, just five species of butterfly and the moths Common Tubic Alabonia geoffrella, Common Carpet and a couple of Yellow Shell.

Furry Dronefly - Alan Keatley

Yellow Shell - Dean Hall

Monday 22 May 2023

Monday 22nd May

Wader counts from the Bight over mid-tide included 108 Sanderling, 33 Ringed and five Grey Plover, 26 Dunlin and 10 Curlew, with the Dark-bellied Brent Goose also in the estuary. Noisy Starling families continue to descended on the site with at least 80 roaming Greenland Lake.

Starling - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: A Ferruginous Bee-grabber Sicus ferrugineus in Greenland Lake was the first of the year with other insects including a Narcissus Fly Merodon equestris, the day flying moths, Grey Gorse-piercer, Yellow Belle and Nettle-tap, and at least six butterfly species including Brown Argus.

Narcissus Fly - Alan Keatley

Nettle-tap - Alan Keatley

Sunday 21 May 2023

Sunday 21st May

Around 70 species recorded today, aside from a few early surprises, much the same species and individuals as recent days. Seawatching saw a fully-spooned, pale phase Pomarine Skua south, two Arctic Tern east, the first of the year, and a Hobby north all before 6.30. Also offshore four Great Northern Diver south, the seven Eider and four Common Scoter.

Aside from a Willow Warbler by the Main Pond, a brief Cuckoo on Warren Point was the only migrant. The latter was singing and fed briefly, but with the first Brown-tail caterpillars only just emerging there was little to reason to linger.

Elsewhere the pair of Shelduck again visited the Main Pond, four Swift, 11 Swallow, seven House and a Sand Martin were overhead and counts from the estuary included 169 Oystercatcher, 40 Sanderling (including the Orkney 'Sanderbling' still), 36 Dunlin, 29 Ringed and four Grey Plover, 16 Curlew, 12 Turnstone, fours of Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Sandwich Tern and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Saturday 20 May 2023

Saturday 20th May

Seawatching saw five Great Northern Diver head south early morning along with 65 Kittiwake, nine Manx Shearwater and six Canada Geese, also offshore the seven Eider and two Great Crested Grebe

Over the morning high tide 19 Black-tailed Godwit were unexpected, with other counts similar to recent days including 74 Sanderling, 37 Dunlin, 20 Ringed and four Grey Plover, 11 Turnstone, five Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Two Siskin overhead may have been the first post-breeding migrants, whilst the first juvenile Starling were around the Buffer Zone. 

Wildlife News: A male Vagrant Emperor along the Dune Ridge by groyne 10 early afternoon, was possibly the fifth record of the year, with the second Hairy Dragonfly of the year by the Main Pond. Also on the wing, three Broad-bodied Chaser, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, a Cinnabar and several Yellow Belle.

New emergences included the Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Coelioxys inermis, Heath Bumblebee Bombus jonellus, Fairy-ring Longhorn Pseudovadonia livida, Asparagus Beetle Crioceris asparagi and Violet Black-legged Robberfly Dioctria atricapilla

Asparagus Beetle - Kevin Rylands

Shiny-vented Sharptail - Alan Keatley

Also recorded Spurge Bug Dicranocephalus agilis, Pretty Perita Arctosa perita, Coastal Silver Stiletto Acrosathe annulata and Brown Heath Robberfly Machimus cingulatus.

Pretty Perita - Kevin Rylands

Other records included the first plant of Annual Wall-rocket for at least five years, just two plants of Sea Holly on what is left of the desert at Warren Point, and also on the Point, the rare fungus Nectriopsis lecanodes, the lichen Diploschistes muscorum colonising Common Threadwort Cephaloziella divaricata and Crosswort.

Diploschistes muscorum - Kevin Rylands

Crosswort - Kevin Rylands

Friday 19 May 2023

Friday 19th May

Seawatching saw 11 Great Northern Diver south during the morning with a Puffin south the evening highlight. Also offshore around 100 Manx Shearwater in the bay, nine Sandwich Tern, a first summer Mediterranean Gull and the seven Eider.

Eider - Lee Collins

Wader passage was evident on the beach and in the estuary with counts of 101 Sanderling, including an Orkney 'Sanderbling', 56 Dunlin, 29 Ringed and three Grey Plover, 16 Curlew, nine Turnstone, five Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Turnstone - Lee Collins

Ringed Plover - Lee Collins

A Red Kite over early just after 7am was not a portent, being the only other migrant noted. 

Wildlife News: A single Silver Y and a couple of Marmalade Hoverfly were the only migrant insects, Flavous Nomad Bee continue in high numbers and the first Common Tubic (Geoff) Alabonia geoffrella was on the wing.

Common Tubic - Lee Collins

A number of galls were also noted today, including those of the Ground-ivy leaf gall wasp Liposthenes glechomae, a new species for the Recording Area. 

Liposthenes glechomae galls - Kevin Rylands

Others included those of the mite Aceria brevipes on Sea-purslane and the gall wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum on Turkey Oak.

Aceria brevipes galls - Kevin Rylands

Neuroterus quercusbaccarum gall - Kevin Rylands

An unusual berry of redcurrant galls preventing a catkin from forming, they usually appear in one or twos on a hanging catkin. Neuroterus quercusbaccarum also forms spangle galls on the underside of oak leaves later in the year.

Thursday 18 May 2023

Thursday 18th May

Early morning 53 Sanderling and 35 Dunlin were feeding along the beach at high tide, with 24 Ringed Plover, three Greenshank and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose in the estuary, along with three Black Swan.

Black Swan - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a single Sand Martin flew through, 40 Shag, a pair of Eider and a Sandwich Tern were offshore, with both pairs of Little Grebe feeding young at the Main Pond.

Wildlife News: The recent spell of warm and dry weather is seeing a large variety of insects emerging, although for most species overall numbers remain low. At least 30 species appeared for the first time in 2023 including May Highflyer, Superb Ant-hill Hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum, Furry Dronefly Eristalis intricariusCommon Malachite Beetle Malachius bipustulatus and, in abundance, the soldier beetle Cantharis rustica.

Common Malachite Beetle - Alan Keatley

Cantharis rustica - Alan Keatley

In addition seven new species for the Recording Area were also discovered in the fine afternoon conditions, these included a Ribwort Plantain weevil Mecinus pascuorum, Ash Pod Gall Midge Dasineura acrophila, a Scots Pine sawfly Neodiprion sertifer, on a sapling by the Entrance Bushes, and Little Nomad Bee Nomada flavoguttata, the 75th bee species for the Warren.

Dasineura acrophila - Kevin Rylands

Neodiprion sertifer - Alan Keatley

Whilst the emergence of Southern Marsh Orchid is adding to the colour across the meadows, Rock Sea Lavender is starting to emerge on Langstone Rock and Bugle has re-appeared on site after a long absence. 

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Wednesday 17th May

An evening visit for the hide tide saw little in the way of migrants, but a Reed Warbler singing at the Golf Course was a new arrival. In the estuary the Icelandic Oystercatcher was one of a flock of 98 birds, with other counts including 51 Sanderling, 40 Dunlin, 19 Ringed and five Grey Plover, 18 Curlew and 11 Turnstone.

Also present six Black-headed and a Mediterranean Gull, four Sandwich Tern, two Knot, including one in brick red summer plumage, two Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel and single Redshank and Dark-bellied Brent Goose, both unseasonal.

Offshore eight Manx Shearwater south, the seven Eider, four Great Crested Grebe and two Common Scoter

Wildlife News: Possibly the most striking and certainly most gruesome sighting was a fly infected with the 'zombie' fungus Entomophthora muscae

Entomophthora muscae - Kevin Rylands

The fungus slowly infects the unfortunate fly, eventually causing it to climb high onto vegetation, where it then grabs hold and opens its wings with its last movements, ensuring that the spores are dispersed as widely as possible!

Entomophthora muscae - Kevin Rylands

Other notable discoveries included the first Smith's Pepperwort since 2019, with a good stand on the Golf Course and although the evening was too cool for many flying insects a new sawfly was recorded nectaring on Hemlock Water-dropwort, Arge melanochra.

Smith's Pepperwort - Kevin Rylands

Arge melanochra - Kevin Rylands

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Tuesday 16th May

At least six Eider were again offshore, two each of adult male, female and immature male; also offshore two Great Crested Grebe, two Sandwich Tern and single first summer Black-headed and Mediterranean Gull

Wildlife News: The first Green Long-horn moths of the year were dancing around several Sycamores, with other new emergences including Bramble Sawfly Arge cyanocrocea and Dumpy Melanostoma M. mellinum. Three new fungi were discovered new for the Recording Area, Grey Inkcap Coprinopsis cinereaTulosesus amphithallus, another inkcap and less conspicuous, Mycosohaerella peregrina, a leafspot on Wild Madder

Grey Inkcap - Kevin Rylands

Tulosesus amphithallus - Kevin Rylands

a lacewing larvae carrying the remains of previous meals as camouflage - Kevin Rylands

Phylan gibbus - Kevin Rylands

Monday 15 May 2023

Monday 15th May

The only signs of migration came from the beach and estuary with a noticeable increase in waders, even allowing for the increased tide height. This was confirmed by the arrival of an Icelandic ringed Oystercatcher, presumably still heading north. Counts included 72 Dunlin, 48 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover, nine Whimbrel, two Turnstone and a Knot.

Sanderling and Dunlin - Alan Keatley

The Dark-bellied Brent Goose was still present in the estuary with a pair of Eider offshore. 

Wildlife News: In the continuing fine weather bees were especially active with several Red Mason Bee searching out suitable nest holes. Sandpit Mining Bee were the most numerous with several Orange-tailed, Chocolate A. scotica and Short-fringed Mining Bee A. dorsata. A pollen-covered Bronze Furrow Bee Halictus tumulorum was the first sighting of the year.

Bronze Furrow Bee - Alan Keatley

Cuckoo bees were also numerous with at least a dozen male Flavous Nomad Bee scattered around the site seeking out females, and a couple of Gooden's Nomad Bee also noted.

Wasp Beetle - Alan Keatley

Also new for 2023, Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis and Thick-legged Flower Beetle Oedemera nobilis and the first Formica cunicularia ant was active at the nest site along on the railway wall. 

Formica cunicularia - Alan Keatley

A couple of Lackey moth nests continue on a Hawthorn on the Dune Ridge, growing well since first discovered on 22 Apr.

Lackey - Alan Keatley

Despite the weather, with fewer migrants just seven butterfly species were on the wing, the majority of species remain in low numbers, with very few Speckled Wood, Green-veined White and Comma especially this spring. The first Blue-tailed Damselfly emerged from the Main Pond, presumably a few degrees cooler than the Dune Pond, which saw the first emergence. 

Sunday 14 May 2023

Sunday 14th May

A foggy start to the day limited visibility offshore but the three Eider remained off Warren Point with three Great Crested Grebe also close inshore. Single Spotted Flycatcher and Sedge Warbler arrived overnight and as the day warmed up 47 Swallow, five House and a Sand Martin flew through.

Linnet - Martin Overy

In the estuary two Little Ringed Plover flew north late morning with counts including 31 Sanderling, 27 Curlew, 14 Turnstone, 13 Dunlin, including the arctica bird, nine Whimbrel, four Ringed Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Sanderling - Lee Collins

Wildlife News: Ten species of butterfly again on the wing the pick of which were single Brimstone, Wall and only the second Green-veined White of the year. A Broad-bodied Chaser was in Greenland Lake. 

Sand Lizard - Lee Collins