Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wembury, 22nd August 2015

My plans for a trip to Fontmell Down in Dorset for a butterfly twitch went out of the window after watching the BBC weather forecast on the TV before heading off to bed on Friday 21st - wet and windy weather forecasted, not good for butterfly watching! However the next morning it was overcast but dry and the BBC weather forecast for the day had changed, it was looking like it would be dry for the morning at least and so I decided to head out for a short walk at Wembury.

I caught a bus to Pomphlett to pick up a parcel at the Royal Mail depot and then walked back to the bus stop near The Range to catch the Wembury bus. I was surprised and delighted to find some Autumn ladies tresses flowering in the grass verge by the bus stop in the exact spot where I saw the pyramidal orchid a few weeks ago. I've never seen them here before and it was a pleasure to find them in flower.The grass is fairly short so I'm hoping our wildlife hating Council don't mow it before the orchids set seed.

 Autumn Ladies Tresses

Autumn Ladies Tresses

Autumn Ladies Tresses

Arriving at Wembury and the sun was beginning to show from behind the clouds. It became increasingly sunny and warm and humid and I wished I had worn my shorts but at least it was ideal for butterflies - holly blue, common blue, meadow brown, gatekeeper, wall, large white, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, small white, speckled wood and comma were all seen.

Offshore there were gannets, fulmars, gulls and shags. 2 Sandwich terns flying East behind 2 jet skiers were presumably looking for pieces of chopped up fish. Along the beach 2 juvenile Mediterranean gulls were with a smart adult in winter plumage and at The Point a whimbrel was in the high tide roost with 8 curlew, 4 little egrets and oystercatchers.

Mediterranean Gull

Whitethroats, chiffchaffs and blackcaps were heard calling in the vegetation but were furtive and skulking while good numbers of swallows flitted about overhead. 2 ravens, 3 buzzards and a juvenile kestrel also flew over, and a green woodpecker was heard yaffling in the valley to the beach.

The toilet block had a nice selection of moths for a change - a flounced rustic, a bee moth, a mullein wave and a magpie moth. Along the footpath I also saw a large yellow underwing and a rush veneer, along with a bloody nosed beetle, a speckled bush cricket and a long winged conehead.

 Flounced Rustic

 Mullein Wave

 Long Winged Conehead

Parasol Mushroom

I was a bit annoyed at the totally inaccurate weather forecast, I could have gone to Fontmell Down after all, but at least I had had a very pleasent walk.

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