31 Aug 2014

31 Aug 14 - High & Low Adrenalin Day

I had planned to head off to the Jurassic coastal path to look for Roesel's Bush Cricket & Grey Bush Cricket. But a call from Paul Morton about a Black Kite heading SE over Poole Harbour, had me dashing off to the nearby Godlingston viewpoint instead. This provides a great view over the Rempstone & Studland parts of Poole Harbour & gave me just the slimmest chances of seeing the Black Kite: but not surprisingly I failed. But it would have been long gone if I had tried to get closer to where Paul saw it, so it was the best plan in the circumstances. The viewpoint was packed as the Red Arrows had just started their display over the Bournemouth beaches, about 5 miles away, as part of the annual air show. Eventually, I gave looking and switched to enjoying them instead as they always put on a stunning performance.
Red Arrows: 4 of the Red Arrows pass over the RFA Argus (primarily a casualty ship fitted with a 100 bed medical complex)
Red Arrows: 4 pass over the RFA Argus, HMS Mersey (River Class Patrol Vessel) & HMS Westminster (Type 23 Frigate) (left to right)
Red Arrows: Only a couple of miles away as these 4 turned over Studland. I was surprised about this odd looking formation which looks like there is a missing plane. According to the Bagsy Blog, one of the pilots had been allowed to leave the display due to the imminent birth of his child: hope it went well
Then it was off to the Jurassic coastal path. My mate, Kevin Lane, had seen or heard several Roesel's Bush Crickets on the previous day around Seacombe valley. This is a species which is rapidly colonising Dorset. The first Dorset record was only found in 2005. Since then it has spread rapidly through the Avon Valley, around Bournemouth & Poole & headed West along some of the main Dorset river valleys. Up to 2011, they hadn't really pushed down into Purbeck according to the distribution maps show in the recently published, excellent Grasshoppers, Bush-crickets & Allied of Dorset book. Looks like they have now started to push down into Purbeck as Kevin had recorded about 10 around Seacombe & Winspit. I tried a different site where I thought I might have seen them, but had no joy. I did try one of Kevin's sites, but it was overcast & windy, so didn't linger.
However, I was more successful in seeing a Grey Bush Cricket. This is strictly a coastal species in Dorset which is found along the full length of the Dorset coastline, except for the large built up area around Bournemouth & Poole. It hasn't moved inland away from the coast. It prefers short grassland, bare soil & scattered low scrubby habits. That is one of the missing species photographed in the Dorset Bush Crickets post (which has now been updated).
Grey Bush Cricket: Male. Jurassic Coastline near Winspit. An overexposed photo as the camera was still set up for the Red Arrows. Note, the long wings grey-brown mottled colouration & lack of yellow edges to the side plates of the pronotum
Boat Bug Enoplops scapha: A common & widespread Shieldbug of dry, sunny & sheltered areas with sparse vegetation, especially sandhills and cliff faces on the Southern coasts from Kent to Pembrokeshire. Many thanks to Paul Brock for identifying this (after I got it wrong)
Back to the high adrenalin theme, it was the annual powerboat race from the Solent to Devon & back. About a dozen or so powerboats were racing back to the Solent.
Powerboat: It would have helped had I taken the 400mm lens, but surprisingly OK with the 15-85mm macro lens