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.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Slender Centaury

The beach and land-slip at Eype, west Dorset - home to the rare Slender Centaury.

Kev mentioned this site to me a few weeks ago, so I popped over the border this morning and found lots of Slender Centaury below the beach carpark. It's a stunning stretch of coastline and one that I've rarely visited. I also nipped over to nearby Burton Bradstock. The last time I went there, can you believe, was January 14th 1989! I remember it with fondness as dad used to often recount the story of a non-birder approaching us, as we scanned from the clifftop,  to ask what we were looking for. Dad replied 'Surf Scoter'  - to which the guy replied "Oh - one of those jet-ski things"! Unfortunately we never achieved more than a 'possible' sighting of the Surf Scoter but did see 20+ Velvet Scoter, which just wouldn't happen nowadays.

This is the pale pink form of Slender Centaury but the white form, pictured below, predominates. As far as I'm aware the cliffs at Eype is the only place in the UK where Slender Centaury is found.

Looking west from the coast path above Eype beach.

Essex Skipper - Burton Bradstock.

Skipper sp.

Skipper sp.

 Looking east from Burton Bradstock cliff-tops.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Golden-rod Pug

Golden-rod Pug - last night's individual above and my only previous one below - trapped on 26/7/16 - note the similarity in dates! I've yet to see the food plant - Golden-rod, but the larvae also apparently feed on Ragwort which is in no shortage around here.

Some notables from the last couple of nights trapping - my second ever Golden-rod Pug, Pebble Hook-tip, Four-spotted Footman, Jersey Tiger, Dun-bar, 3 Box-tree Moths, 9 Dark Sword-grass, Dot Moth, Haworth's Pug, Drinker, Diamond-back Marble and others. Most odd was a Red Admiral in the trap. Decent numbers in humid conditions but disappointing on the migrant front.

Diamond-back Marble Eudemis profunda.

Ermine species above and below.

Pebble Hook-tip.

Dark Sword-grass - two last night and a record (for me) seven the night before. Otherwise disappointing for migrants with 3 Silver Y yesterday and two last night, plus a Rusty Dot Pearl last night.

Four-spotted Footman.

 Box-tree Moth - one of two trapped last night. I also trapped one the night before.