Sunday 3rd.June northwesterly 5 - bright and sunny, cool
Ayres Coast and dunes
A walk up the shore from Blue Point towards Smeale produced 8 species of butterfly in the few areas sheltered from the strong wind. Plenty of Common Blues, 2 Grayling, several Wall Brown, Small and Large Whites, 1 Red Admiral, 20+ Green-veined White and a couple of Orange Tips.
Offshore there were, again, hundreds of Gannets plunge diving also Arctic, Little and Sandwich Terns and a party of 3 Pomarine Skuas flew north within 50yds. of the shore. All 3 birds were pale phase individuals with fabulous tail 'spoons'.
On the beach I located 3 Ringed Plover nests each containing 4 eggs and several Oystercatcher's nests with 2 or 3 eggs.
Back at home, there were 4 Large Red Damselflies on the wing with at least 2 of them being males.
Thursday 7th.June westerly4 - sunny
Several (at least 12) summer-plumaged Sanderling with Dunlin
and Ringed Plover on the shoreline at Derbyhaven. Fabulous
birds with contrastingly mottled black and grey body plumage
and stunning deep chestnut facial colouration. Usual 'clockwork'
movement and giving a larger impression than the nearby
Thursday 7th,June westerly3 - overcast then clearing later
A couple of hours spent moth trapping at the entrance to Penny Holdings Lane (an area known as 'The Log') produced several locally scarce species: Oblique Carpet, Pale Tussock and Eyed Hawkmoth being the highlights.
Saturday 9th.June westerly4 - sunny occasional showers
A ½ day's birding around various north coast 'hot spots' produced several species of seabird. At Maughold Head, all the breeding auk species were present, although I missed the claimed Puffin! Several Choughs were 'playing' in the area although there was no sign of the local Peregrines. The highlight here was definitely the Harbour Porpoise that 'cruised' passed the Traie Cairn Bay.
At Glascoe Dubh there was a solitary male Tufted Duck looking rather lonely but little else of note. The Point Of Ayre was similarly unproductive.
Once again, Blue Point proved to be the best site for seabirds with hundreds of Gannets plunge-diving just offshore and dozens of Manx Shearwaters passing amongst them (something of a hazardous route, considering the force at which a diving Gannet will hit the water!). A fabulous dark phase Arctic Skua was sat on the sea only 20 yds out and drifted by on the incoming tide before finally taking to flight and heading off west.
Ballaugh Curraghs were quiet by the time we arrived (by way of the Sulby Glen Hotel and lunch!) with no sign of the hoped-for Lesser Whitethroats. Close Sartfield was still closed for Foot and Mouth restrictions (no comment!) but the field immediately adjacent to the car park was full of Orchids. (pictures below taken in previous years).
Sunday 10th.June westerly3 - warm and sunny
Several pairs of Large Red Damselflies 'coupled' and egg laying by the garden pond at my home in Ramsey. Very approachable insects (presumably because they were pre-occupied!). The males were particularly bright with their bright crimson abdomens and contrasting 'bronze/green' thoraxes.
Saturday 16th.June - easterly 7 - overcast
A huge passage of Manx Shearwaters heading north numbered at least 5000 birds in the hour I spent here. 1 Mediterranean Shearwater also passed north (see 28th. June). There were hundreds of auks on the water including several Black Guillemots and at least 6 Puffins.
Sunday 17th. June northerly 2 - warm and sunny
Blue Point to Smeale
An arduous 2-hour walk along the shore produced
little of note other than several hundred Manx
Shearwaters off shore and at least a dozen
summer-plumaged Sanderling on the tide line. The
walk got off to an excellent start with a
1st.summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull flying
south, only 50 yds. offshore. A fairly typical
specimen, with heavily contrasting brown, black
and white upperwings and heavy set head.
Friday 22nd. June westerly 2 , sunny
The Mediterranean Gull again present but 'flighty'. It was eventually flushed by a jogger ( it isn't always dog-walkers then!).
Came across a plant I didn't recognise on the beach. Reference to a field guide showed it to be an Oyster Plant, which is, apparently, quite scarce (a bit straggly and weedy nonetheless). Much more impressive were the few Sea Holly plants which were also on the beach area.
Offshore there was no sign of the hoped-for cetaceans, but a huge flock of approx. 2000 Manx Shearwaters sitting just 100m away was quite a sight.
Saturday 23rd. June southerly 3 - hot and sunny
A pleasant lunchtime pint in the beer garden of the Hop Garden
pub revealed several Common Blue Damselflies. A more diverting
sight though, was the pair of Moorhens that were nesting on the
adjacent pond. Their eggs had clearly just hatched as the chicks
were very small and at least two that were in the nest were
still wet! When we returned, a couple of hours later, both parents
were attending to 6 very active young on the pond itself.
Sunday 24th. June southerly 3 - sunny and warm
Maughold Head/Traie Curn Bay
A wonderful couple of hours spent watching the seabirds at Maughold Head. Although it was misty on arrival it soon cleared up to be sunny and hot (if you got out of the breeze). An adult, female Peregrine was performing in the most stunning fashion and caught a Rock Dove (or the nearest that we have to them on the island!) right in front of me and proceeded to dismember it on a nearby rocky outcrop! Other birds here included 6 Choughs in arial display, 8 Puffins on the sea in the mouth of the bay and at least 20 Black Guillemots flying back and forth from the rocks at the base of the cliffs.
The sloped sides of the bay were awash with colour, the bright pink of English Stonecrop being the predominant colour but also, here and there, were clumps of white, Sea Campion.
Monday 25th.June - southerly 2 or 3 - hot and hazy
A fairly good catch of over 35 species in my garden moth trap
this morning. One of the highlights is pictured here - a relatively
common species called Peach Blossom. It's wonderful, metallic
green colouration set off with the most 'ridiculous', chocolate
and marshmallow-pink spots again highlighting how much more
interesting and colourful than butterflies, moths actually are.
Other species caught included such exotically named creatures
as; Green Silver Lines, Buff Ermine, Tawny Marbled Minor and
Thursday 28th.June - southerly 4 - hot and sunny
A two-hour seawatch produced several hundred Manx Shearwaters and one Sooty Shearwater, all flying east (left!). Little else of note but all the usual auks, Gannets, Kittiwakes and one 'Commic' Tern (it was too far out to specifically identify it as Common or Arctic.