It dawned yet another misty day, but luckily it had largely worn off by the time I finished work, and could get out and do some birding. The wader passage seems to be well and truly underway down at Ferrybridge, so I decided on there as my first port of call.
It was still cloudy at this point, so luckily, there was minimal human disturbance out on the mud flats, bar for a few bait diggers. I was delighted to see a swarm of waders out there, but also close to the centre on the stream. Best here were two moulting Knot, still pretty dapper looking.
A short walk down the edge of the mudflats, and I was able to do a quick count of 93 Dunlin. I also managed to find 3 Sanderling with the main flock, as well as another 9 on the mudbank off the Little Tern colony. Also in attendance were 3 Turnstone, a few Ringed Plover (including the Swedish colour-ringed juvenile), a Little Egret, a Grey Heron (which landed by the Tern colony, but was quickly seen off by the Gulls - bet the Terns were happy with that protection service!), and a count of 44 Mediterranean Gull. On the walk back I counted the Dunlin again - 105 this time! By the time I'd got back to the centre, the loafing Med flock had built up too, to 70!
I found the Portland plant tick here of Common Stork's-bill.
On the exhausting trudge up Old Hill, I found another new plant, Wavy Bitter-cress.
I decided to look for Chalk-hill Blues next at High Angle Battery, as some had been seen there recently. I then realised that King Barrow Quarry was closer, so it might be worth popping in there first. Literally, the first butterfly I saw was this beauty!
I then watched this individual do something strange on these Bramble buds. Curved it's abdomen round as if egg-laying! But, it's a male!
After it left, I took a closer look at the spot, and it had left two tiny orange blobs on the buds. Can you spot them? Excreta maybe? Anyone any other ideas what went on here?
Finally, I noticed a lot of Six-spot Burnet action. Firstly, how many can you fit on a Knapweed head?
And, I can't imagine how it occurred, but this poor individual had lost a whole set of wings. It should still be able to reproduce.
I hope tomorrow is going to be clearer, as I'm getting seawatching withdrawal symptoms!