The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sainsbury's Man o' War

Another boiling day dawned, but I chose to have a bit of a lie-in for a change.  Luckily this decision was not regretted later, as there was little happening on the bird-front. 

The customary check-in at the obs revealed more moths than ever in the trap there.  The only macro lifer was a Bordered Beauty (shot taken through a pot).

Among the other highlights were Brussels Lace.


Green Pug
Burnished Brass
Eudonia lineola
On my way out of the Obs, I discovered what I believe to be a female Large Red Damselfly.  It seemed to be having some trouble flying.  Every time it took off, it immediately plummeted back to earth!
I went on down to the Bill, where I began a seawatch.  In 1 and a half hours I recorded 53 Common Scoter east (including one quite impressive flock of 47), 23 west, a Great Crested Grebe east, 11 Manx Shearwater west, and a fly-over Yellow Wagtail.  I also noticed a flock of 5 Sand Martin and 28 Swallow fly out to sea, circle around as if feeding, before returning!  The quieter time was enlivened by what I thought at the time could have been a Jellyfish of some sort, floating past on the current.  Reviewing the pics later, and comparing them to some internet shots of Portugese Man o' war (which do occasionally occur in Dorset waters), I have a feeling it's just a plastic bag after all!  Are there any other species of Jellyfish to consider with this sort of 'float'?  Ban carrier bags I say!


After lunch, I decided to take another look at King Barrow Quarry, in particular to try and find Adonis Blue.  No luck on that score, but there were almost swarms of Skippers, including my first island Essex Skippers.  Another Grayling was spotted, but the highlight for me was stumbling on a bare, almost inaccessible ledge amongst the quarry workings that had two botanical lifers on it.  They were Dwarf Spurge and Small Toadflax.     

The forecast does not envisage an end to the uncomfortable conditions, although I suppose I should not complain about the numbers of moths and butterflies around as a result of them! 


  1. Thanks Ken. The odonata is one of the few groups I have put little effort into learning. I'll do it one day!