The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


For most people, this weather is absolutely glorious, but I can't say I share that view as a walker and cyclist who likes to keep active!

Today, I spent the afternoon wearing myself out hiking around Ferrybridge, particularly for botanical reasons.  There was not a cloud in the sky, which certainly brought the butterflies out.  There were almost clouds of Meadow Brown, as well as a few moths including 6-spot Burnet, Silver Y, Cinnabar, and a Yellow Belle.  Plus micros (I suspect largely Chrysoteuchia culmella) disturbed with every step.  In the morning I discovered a brilliant spot to find moths, in a run-down block of flats where I deliver.  The whole thing is one big moth trap!  I found the likes of Figure of 80 and Barred Straw in there.

The plantlife at Ferrybridge was indeed diverse, and I managed to ID for the first time Sea Radish and Sea Mouse-ear (4 petals instead of the usual 5 on other Mouse-ears).  I also managed to add 19 species to my Portland list, bringing it over the 200 mark (after just 13 days of searching!).  These included the fabulous Sea Holly.

One of the features of Portland at the moment seems to be the huge numbers of Pyramidal Orchids about.  Ferrybridge is no exception it seems.

On part of the walk, I went along Chesil Beach, which was tough going.  But, there were far more hardy specimens there.  Take a look at this extraordinary windblown Willow!

On the way to Ferrybridge, I found a patch of Large Bindweed adjacent to Tout Quarry.  Another new one to me.  Notice the overlapping bracts behind the flower (they don't quite meet on Hedge Bindweed).


The birds were not the main attraction here, but I still managed a single Whimbrel out on the mudflats (despite the constant disturbance from sun-seekers), as well as a number of Mediterranean Gull, a Sandwich Tern, the ever-present Little Tern at their colony, and a few fly-through Swift.

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