The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Friday, 26 July 2013

Cloud 9

Another day that initially looked as if it was going to be another fog-out, turned out rather well.

First of all, on my round in the morning I not only got a glimpse of a male Vapourer moth flying around, but I later stumbled across my first ever female (which is flightless), which had laid eggs on her old cocoon.

In the afternoon, I thought my first port of call, Ferrybridge, might be clear, but it wasn't at all.  Despite this, I was able to count all the massed waders as they were right next to the centre.  Nothing unusual, but there were at least 15 Sanderling in with the 150 or so Dunlin, along with 2 Turnstone, loads of Ringed Plover, a Sandwich Tern, plus the usual Mediterranean Gull and Little Terns.

On the way to my next port of call, Verne Common, I was able to ID for the first time, Annual Wall-rocket.  When the leaves are crushed, the aroma is rather like Rocket that has gone off!

The common itself was rather devoid of interest, though I did see a nice pair of Bullfinch.  Also, you don't get to see a Ringlet open it's wings too often.

As you can see, the fog was still extensive, completely hiding the mainland.

I did however, still managed to get my first view of the famous white horse (just above the fog!).

On the way home, I found my first Portland Harebell.  A single plant on the banks of the prison.

I took the footpaths back via Underhill and Old Hill, and stumbled across this dead Common Shrew.

The famous view from the top was not looking it's usual self!

Come the evening, I had a short stroll down to the west cliffs, where the fog was absolutely spectacular, completely blanketing the sea.  The weather here really is unique!

Here, the butterflies really were everywhere.  They say that the days of taking a step and clouds of butterflies taking off are gone, well not here!  In a single strip of grass about 20 metres by 5, I counted 80 roosting Marbled Whites (as well as lots of Chalkhill Blues and a few Small Whites)!

This is all rather good, but I think I am now ready for the migrant birds to start turning up.  Come on goodies!

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