Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Orc Pt

My first Wheatear on Orcombe this morning. A bank of mist creeps down the Exe in the background.

I covered Orcombe more thoroughly this morning, for the first time since the spring. From 0620 - 0815 I recorded 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Swifts and 6 Swallows. Small numbers of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were just local breeders. Just off the beach, below the point, 3 Common Terns, 1 Roseate Tern and a Sandwich Tern fed for a short while. Also recorded - 3 Red-legged Partridges, 13 Skylarks (evidence of some breeding success), 2 Kestrels and 3 Canada Geese.
Mudbank - 52 Mallard, 43 Whimbrel and a Mediterranean Gull.

Painted Lady - one of two seen on Orcombe this morning.

Bee species on Scentless Mayweed.

Hornet Beetle Leptura aurulenta - Blackhill Quarry.

Monday, 2 August 2021


A couple Willow Warblers and at least one (probably two) Grasshopper Warblers on Orcombe this morning, but only a small section of the patch covered.
Off Mudbank - 42 Whimbrel and 52 Mallard. Numbers of both species slowly creeping up. Also of note there - an adult Common Gull.

Frosted Orache.

Red Goosefoot.

Prickly Saltwort.

Think this is just Common Knotgrass - growing on the edge of the estuary.

Hare's-foot Clover.

Hedgerow Crane's-bill.

Common Blue.

Meadow Grasshopper.

 Common Blue.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

More Qs than Answers

Hoverfly sp - Edit - Eristlis sp - possibly E. arbustorum, on Hemp Agrimony - thanks to Neil for all the identifications - hugely appreciated!

A brief walk on Orcombe produced 1 Willow Warbler and a fly-over Ringed Plover. Nearby there was a single Turnstone on Maer Rocks and at least 13 Sandwich Terns were offshore with a Common Tern
Counts off Mudbank produced 40 Mallard and 37 Whimbrel. Otherwise - an hour spent mooching around the edge of Blackhill Quarry, this afternoon,  served to highlight how poor I am at identifying invertebrates. Some flowers got me scratching my head too...

Common Calamint.

Grasshopper species.

 Sticky Groundsel

Canadian Fleabane.

Grayling - above and below.


I thought I'd be able to identify this bee quite easily. Edit - Common Mourning Bee Melecta albifrons - a cuckoo of Hairy-footed Flower Bee (thanks again to Neil).

Field Grasshopper.

Mottled Grasshopper.

Green Leafhopper Cicadella viridis.

Black-tailed Skimmer.

Wood Sage.

Field Grasshopper.

micro sp.

Hemp Agrimony - close-up.

Chinese Character.

Mullein Wave.

Saturday, 31 July 2021


Yesterday's juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was again present off Mudbank this morning. Also present - 34 Whimbrel, 36 Mallard, 8+ House Martin, 2 Swift, and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Oddities were a single Teal, which flew upriver, and a Stock Dove.
Off the seafront - 18+ Sandwich Terns.

Friday, 30 July 2021


Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull - Mudbank. Very little else to report on a blustery day - just 31 Mallard off Mudbank and 19 Common Scoter off the seafront.

An immaculate Painted Lady on Orcombe Point.

 Looking back towards Exmouth from the top fields, Orcombe Point.

Thursday, 29 July 2021


Chalkhill Blue.

Green-flowered Helleborine. Hope I've got this right. Note the swollen, hairless ovaries (apparently GFH can self-pollinate without the flowers opening, and so may remain in bud). The upper part of the stem lacks hairs. I found only two presumed examples amongst multiple Broad-leaved Helleborines. More photos below...

A trip up to the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire for Helleborines this morning. Not as straightforward as I'd hoped but educational and a joy to spend more time on chalky soil! On the way back down the M5 I stopped off at Ham Wall, hoping for dragonflies, but it became overcast pretty quickly and consequently there wasn't too much activity. Back for lunch.

Think this photo shows the irregularly-bunched cilia (little hairs) along the leaf edge. Diagnostic from what I've read.


Carline Thistle.

Dwarf Thistle.

Eyebright agg.

Woolly Thistle.

Burnet Saxifrage.

Dyer's Greenweed - thank you Neil!

Chalkhill Blue.

Broad-leaved Helleborines were present in all shades.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - thanks Steve!

Blue-tailed damselfly.

Glastonbury Tor - too cloudy for dragonflies unfortunately.


Marsh Harrier.


Ruddy Darter.

Great White Egret. One of two seen.

Amphibious Bistort.

Black-and-yellow Longhorn Beetle on Hogweed.

Ruddy Darter.