Thursday 29 June 2023

Thursday 29th June

A midsummer lull to proceedings, but it is far from quiet with Blackcap, Cirl Bunting and Whitethroat all still in good voice, whilst a juvenile Little Grebe remains at the Main Pond, Stonechat are feeding second broods, and fledged Greenfinch and Goldfinch explore the site. 

Wildlife News: The late afternoon sun saw many insects on the wing,including another new species for the Recording Area in the form of a Yellow-legged Black Pachygaster leachii, a small soldierfly, around the Cuckoo's Nest. 

Spotted Long-horn - Kevin Rylands

Elsewhere the year's first Spotted Long-horn Rutpela maculata, 14-spot Ladybird and Ringlet were seen with good numbers of Small Copper and Small Skipper on the wing.

Blue-bordered Carpet - Kevin Rylands

Tephritis vespertina - a Cat's-ear fruit fly - Kevin Rylands

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Wednesday 28th June

No news was received. 

Wildlife News: Tuesday night's mothing session recorded just over 1200 individuals of 156 species, although over 800 of those were Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella. Scarce residents included Fen Wainscot, Sand DartLeast Carpet, Portland Ribbon Wave, Dusky Groundling Aroga velocella, Gorse Knot-horn Pempelia genistella and Sandhill Knot-horn Anerastia lotella.

Gorse Knot-horn - Kevin Rylands

Five new species for the Recording Area also came to the lights; July Belle, Muslin FootmanBrown Ash Ermine Zelleria hepariella, Hemlock Yellow Conch Aethes beatricella and the highlight, three Rosy-striped Knot-horn Oncocera semirubella

Muslin Footman - Kevin Rylands

Notable Warren species included Bordered BeautyGrass Emerald, Royal Mantle, Scarce Silver Lines and Broad-barred Knot-horn Acrobasis consociella. Migrants included single Small Mottled Willow, Dark Sword-grass and Rush Veneer, 10 Diamond Back and eight Silver Y

Swallow-tailed Moth - Kevin Rylands

Scarce Silver-lines - Kevin Rylands

A male Glow-worm, the first for the Recording Area, was surprise 'bycatch', as was a Black-clouded Longhorn Leiopus nebulosus

Glow-worm (male) - Kevin Rylands

Black-clouded Long-horn - Kevin Rylands

Other species included the water scavenger beetle Hydrobius fuscipesthe large caddisfly Phryganea grandis, and the bugs Orthocephalus saltatorPhytocoris varipes and Stenotus binotatus

Stenotus binotatus - Kevin Rylands

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Tuesday 27th June

The low high tide meant there was little to see in the estuary with just five Dunlin in the Bight and three Sandwich Tern offshore The immature male Eider was off Langstone Rock and a Tawny Owl was calling from the Entrance Bushes overnight. 

Eider - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The overcast but still warm conditions meant insects were still on the wing but less active allowing close approach. Bee-wolf numbers continue to increase with a Small Shaggy Bee Panurgus calcaratus engrossed in nectaring in the Buffer Zone.

Bee-wolf - Alan Keatley

Small Shaggy Bee - Alan Keatley

Light trapping overnight saw over 150 moth species recorded, not including the two below, both seen during the day.

Golden-brown Tubic Crassa unitella - Alan Keatley

Sycamore Piercer Pammene aurita - Alan Keatley

Sunday 25 June 2023

Sunday 25th June

Two juvenile Egyptian Geese, presumably from Powderham Park, that flew along the shoreline and  back up estuary early morning were the only deviation from the usual June fare.

Offshore there were 25 Kittiwake, six Guillemot, four Common Scoter, three Sandwich Tern and two Mediterranean Gull, with two additional Mediterranean Gull in the estuary. Counts over the low high tide included 266 Oystercatcher, 142 Curlew, five Redshank, four Whimbrel, three Bar-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank.

Whitethroat - Dave Jewell

Wildlife News: The Grey Squirrel was still around the Entrance Bushes, with a Golden-ringed Dragonfly along Back Path another visitor from the mainland. 

In Greenland Lake Marsh Helleborine are in flower, with several Silver-Y, second generation Brown Argus and Common Blue, Small White, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small and Large Skipper and a few Six-spot Burnet on the wing.

At the Main Pond several Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and Emperor dragonflies, along with Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselfly. A Roesel's Bush Cricket was still on the Golf Course with Dark and Great Green Bush Cricket along the Back Path with an Oak Bush Cricket in Dead Dolphin Wood.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Saturday 24th June

A seawatch for the first three hours saw two Balearic and a Manx Shearwater fly south with 148 Gannet, 36 Common Scoter, 23 Mediterranean Gull, mostly first summers, 21 Kittiwake and nine Sandwich Tern.

Elsewhere a Grey Wagtail overhead was an early autumn migrant with counts from the estuary including 264 Oystercatcher, 97 Curlew, two Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Grey Plover, with single Greenshank and Redshank.

Wildlife News:Mason-wasp Satellite Fly Amobia signata loitering with intent on leaves at the Cuckoo's Nest was a new species for the Recording Area. 

Amobia signata - Alan Keatley

Nearby Bee-wolf Philanthus triangulum have emerged in numbers in the Buffer Zone alongside several male Armed Digger Wasp Crabro cribrarius. Many Minute Digger Wasp Diodontus minutus were active along parts of the Back Path, usually close to rabbit scraps, nesting on vertical slopes.

Bee-wolf - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a Grey Squirrel behind the Crocus Compound was another early autumn migrant, a new Pyramidal Orchid has emerged along the Dune Ridge and two Roesel's Bush Cricket were on the estuary bank. 

10 species of butterflies were on the wing including a fresh Small Tortoiseshell on Warren Point with six dragonfly species including several Red-eyed Damselfly including multiple mating pairs on the Main Pond.

Black-tailed Skimmer - Alan Keatley

Thursday 22 June 2023

Thursday 22nd June

High tide counts from the estuary included 290 Oystercatcher, 58 Curlew, 12 Redshank, including the first juvenile, 11 Mediterranean Gull, six ad & five fs, four Dunlin, three Ringed and two Grey Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and a Greenshank.

Elsewhere 12 Sandwich Tern were offshore and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose was on the beach.

Brent Goose - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Linnet - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Wildlife News: Another hot day with many bees and wasps hyper-active in the sunshine, making close views and photography a challenge but several new species for the year were recorded, including three  nationally scarce wasps, Little Mason Wasp Microdynerus exilis, Dark-winged Digger Wasp Lestiphorous bicinctus and it's parasite Three-spotted Digger Wasp Nysson trimaculatus.

Little Mason Wasp - Alan Keatley

Three-banded Mason Wasp Ancistrocerus trifasciatus - Alan Keatley

Other species on the wing for the first time included Coastal Leafcutter Megachile martima, Common Yellow-faced Bee Hylaeus communis and the bee-mimic hoverfly Bumblebee Blacklet Cheilosia illustrata.

Bumblebee Blacklet - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere Red-eyed Damselfly were ovipositing at the Main Pond, a new Pyramidal Orchid is flowering in Greenland Lake, and the second generation of Speckled Wood have emerged.

Broad-bodied Chaser - Dave Jewell

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Wednesday 21st June

Two Little Ringed Plover in the Bight were early autumn migrants with other waders present including 228 Oystercatcher, 58 Curlew, seven Turnstone, seven Redshank, five Dunlin, three Ringed and Grey Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank and a Sanderling.

Elsewhere 89 Black-headed and seven Mediterranean Gull were offshore with five Sandwich Tern and 15 Swift were feeding low over Greenland Lake.

Saturday 17 June 2023

Saturday 17th June

The first four Balearic Shearwater of the year flew slowly south early evening with a sub adult Arctic Skua chasing gulls offshore. These included at least 22 Mediterranean Gull, three adult, two second summer and 17 first summer including a French ringed bird.

Mediterranean Gull - Lee Collins

Counts from the evening high tide included 252 Oystercatcher, 76 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, six Ringed and two Grey Plover, five Redshank, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Sandwich Tern and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose. One of the terns sadly looked like a poultry flu victim.

Sandwich Tern - Lee Collins

Elsewhere 160 Starling were on the Golf Course, and a several recently fledged Pied Wagtail were on Warren Point.

Wildlife News: A change in butterflies with a few more Gatekeeper on the wing, but Common Blue may have ended its spring generation. In contrast the Yellow-legged Mining Bee summer generation has now emerged with several on the wing at the car park roundabout colony.

Gatekeeper - Alan Keatley

Bumblebees are enjoying the flowering bramble and clover with several Tree, Red-tailed, and numerous Buff-tailed and Common Carder Bee. On areas of bare sand several Red- banded Sand Wasp were patrolling looking for caterpillars to take to their burrows.

Red-banded Sand Wasp Ammophila sabulosa - Alan Keatley

Heterotoma planicornis nymph - Alan Keatley

Thursday 15 June 2023

Thursday 15th June

With no high tide visit, records were limited to the regular breeding species including two Song Thrush collecting food for second broods.

Wildlife News: The first Gatekeeper of the year was more or less on time, one of eight butterfly species recorded. Also on the wing the first Pantaloon Bee of the year, with plenty of Green-eyed Flower Bee and Silvery Leafcutter buzzing around bramble flowers. Toward Langstone Rock, Green Furrow Bee and Shiny-vented Sharptail were searching out crevices in the railway wall.

Pantaloon Bee - Alan Keatley

Also there a grasshopper hunting wasp, Tachysphex pompiliformis, a first for the Recording Area.

Tachysphex pompiliformis - Alan Keatley

Monday 12 June 2023

Monday 12th June

A quiet visit with four Grey Plover and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose in the estuary and three Sandwich Tern offshore.

Wildlife News: A Clouded Yellow was the only migrant noted today but there were several new emergences for the year.

Rhogogaster scalaris - Alan Keatley

Broad-banded Epistrophe E. grossulariae - Alan Keatley

Light trapping on Sunday night saw a total of 72 moth species recorded in three hours from 10pm, 15 of which had not been recorded since at least 2019. Highlights included Treble Brown Spot new for the Recording Area, with the first confirmed record of Small Clouded Brindle

Treble Brown Spot - Kevin Rylands

Local specialties included three Portland Ribbon Wave, Sand Dart and Obscure, Shore and Silky Wainscot with migrants including six Diamond Back, four Green Oak Tortrix, two Silver Y and a European Corn Borer.

Privet Hawkmoth - Kevin Rylands

Other insects attracted to the lights included a large caddisfly Phryganea grandis, Broad Centurion, a soldierfly, and the scarce picture-winged fly Melieria omissa.

Sunday 11 June 2023

Sunday 11th June

A quiet WEBS count as to be expected in June with counts limited to 32 Oystercatcher, 15 Sanderling, six Grey Plover, five Dunlin, four Bar-tailed Godwit and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Elsewhere an Arctic Skua was offshore with four Mediterranean Gull, two Sandwich and a Common Tern, with the first fledged Whitethroat on site with the single Stock Dove and Coal Tit still present.

Wildlife News: A day of notable dragonfly migration, in species if not number. A probable male Red-veined Darter was briefly at the Main Pond, further searches drew a blank but did reveal two Four-spotted Chaser, the first since 2009, and a male Scarce Chaser, the second site record, the first since 2008.

Also on site a Golden-ringed Dragonfly, half a dozen Red Admiral and Silver Y, the first Little Flower Bee Anthophora bimaculata and Wool Carder Bee Anthidium manicatum of the year and offshore a Grey Seal

Phyllocnistis xenia - Kevin Rylands

Further discoveries included Rosemary Beetle, the leaf mines of Kent Bent-wing Phyllocnistis xenia on White Poplar and the larvae of the sawfly Nematus lucidus, a new species for the Recording Area, were feeding on Blackthorn.

Nematus lucidus - Kevin Rylands

Saturday 10 June 2023

Saturday 10th June

The welcome break in the weather, no doubt influenced some expected and some unexpected June passage. The former was an arrival of 15 Mediterranean Gull during the day (11 fs, two ss and two ad) in off the sea, whilst a male Tufted Duck and a Little Ringed Plover flew south offshore.

Also offshore, 14 Common Scoter, six Sandwich Tern, a Great Northern Diver south and an immature male Eider off Langstone Rock.

(Red) Knot - Alan Keatley

Few signs of movement though over the high tide, with counts from the Bight including 22 Ringed and six Grey Plover, 16 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin, sixes of Bar-tailed Godwit and Turnstone, three Knot and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose. With water levels dropping rapidly, the Mute Swan family have deserted the Main Pond, safely reaching Shutterton Creek.

Grey (Black-bellied)  Plover - Alan Keatley

Elsewhere a Stock Dove was again around the bushes, a family of five Raven were on Warren Point, three Moorhen broods are present on the Main Pond where the first two fledged Reed Warbler of the year were also present.

Wildlife News: The much needed rain lessened the activity of flying insects today but 11 Red Admiral showed signs of continued migration. A number of moths were found on vegetation, including a migrant Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana on Warren Point and several others new for the year.

Crescent Plume Marasmarcha lunaedactyla - Alan Keatley

Bright Neb Argolamprotes micella - Alan Keatley

Willow Beauty - Alan Keatley

Thursday 8 June 2023

Thursday 8th June

Counts from the estuary included 40 Sanderling and 20 Dunlin still passing through, with the five Grey Plover and Dark-bellied Brent Goose still present.

Long-tailed Tit - Dean Hall

Wildlife News: The first Clouded Yellow of the year and three Red Admiral were presumably migrants, with the year's first Small Skipper and Golden-ringed Dragonfly also on the wing. 

Red Admiral - Dean Hall

Small Skipper - Alan Keatley

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Alan Keatley

A Water Vole gave untypically good views at the diminishing First Pond and Agenioideus cinctellus, a spider-hunting wasp was discovered new to the Recording Area.

Water Vole - Alan Keatley

Agenioideus cinctellus - Alan Keatley

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Wednesday 7th June

A Stock Dove over the Main Pond was the only record set apart from the regular breeding birds and increasing numbers of fledglings. 

Wildlife News: An evening visit collecting Sand Crocus seed under license with the Millennium Seed Bank was successful with over 500 seeds now heading for cold storage. 

After a record flowering year capsules were plentiful, but those in drier areas had already shed most of their seed in the drought conditions. Each flower held 12-20 seeds, with some plants having two flowers.

Sand Crocus - Kevin Rylands

Gold dust

Also found when searching for seeds, many Field Grasshopper nymphs, Melampsora linia rust fungus on Fairy Flax and a Cat's-ear stem gall produced by the wasp Phanacis hypochoeridis.

Phanacis hypochoeridis - Kevin Rylands