The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Monday, 12 August 2013

A lucky pair of Magpies brings me Little

I headed out with renewed optimism this morning that the time I'm putting in will eventually get it's rewards.  I walked on down the Bill.  But, after taking in Barleycrates Lane, Suckthumb Quarry, Avalanche Road Hump, Reap Lane, and the Admiralty Hedge, and only seeing a few Willow Warbler, 3 Wheatear, and a juvenile Sparrowhawk, my hopes started to fade.  My mood wasn't helped when I dropped my phone on the pavement, smashing the screen into a thousand pieces.  Rather incredibly, it still works fine, even the touchscreen!  Viewing images is now a little harder however.  The only amusement I could get from this walk, was a Horse farting.  I am fairly mature, honest.

I popped into the Obs, only to find that yet again, the guys sitting around there had seen much more than me!  I will try and resist taking this easy option as much as possible.  I'm a doer.

I was able though to look at the moths, and there were some beauties.  The only macro lifer was the top-notch immigrant, Bordered Straw, and a nice fresh one too.

Also among the highlights were one of two Jersey Tiger.
Only my second ever Small Wainscot (the first being last week at Alners).
And this quite rare micro, Aristotelia brizella, a Thrift-feeder.  Sorry for poor pic.

On the way back home, I took a route along the East Cliffs.  Here, the migrant monotony was at least broken a little by a Yellow Wagtail which flew over and seemed to come down in the Crown Estate Field.  I later heard it again, flying back north towards Southwell.  I also came across another 3 Wheatear here.

This area in the East Cliff quarries is very sheltered from the current westerlies, so butterflies were in profusion.  I was lucky enough to see two more Clouded Yellow, though sadly (and rather typically) they wouldn't land for pictures.  The other entertainment here was provided by a juvenile Rock Pipit attempting to subdue a Grasshopper.  The bird kept dropping it, and the Grasshopper still had hops in it!  It did eventually go down the hatch.
The main highlight for me though was spotting my first ever juvenile Little Owl, which was brought to my attention by the actions of a pair of Magpie.

Having had enough of the Magpies attention, he took cover.

A bit of a stand-off.

But they did eventually go away, leaving the little guy to sunbathe once again.

Isn't it about time we got a Melodious Warbler?

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