May 2005



  Eurydema ornata - Tout Quarry, May 8th 2005 © David Slade

  May 31st

The continuing presence of the Woodchat Shrike and Quail at Barleycrates Lane again saved the day, for the only other news was of a Sand Martin, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler at the Bill, 2 more Chiffchaffs at Avalanche Road and 30 Common Scoter passing through on the sea off the Bill. 

A deer, presumably the same Roe Deer that was seen at the Grove earlier in the month, was seen at Cheyne House early this morning. 

Further exciting news is of the discovery on the island earlier this month of a new species of shieldbug for the UK mainland. Confirmation of the identification of a specimen of Eurydema ornata, discovered by David Slade at Tout Quarry on 8th May, has recently been received. This species occurs on the near Continent and is also evidently established on the Channel Islands; the nymphs are stated to feed on species of Brassicaceae, including cultivated and wild cabbages, and less frequently on grasses.

May 30th

No new rarities today although both the Woodchat Shrike and the singing Quail remained at Barleycrates Lane. Two Hobbies passing through at Barleycrates Lane were the pick of the new arrivals that otherwise included nothing more than 4 Chiffchaffs, a Reed Warbler and a Willow Warbler at the Bill. Seawatching at the Bill was just as uneventful with 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Dunlin, 4 Black-headed Gulls and a Manx Shearwater the only sightings worth logging.

Immigrants in the Obs garden moth-traps overnight: 2 Plutella xylostella, 2 Turnip and 1 Silver Y.




  'Wasp' Orchid, Bordered Straw and Woodchat Shrike - Portland Bill and Barleycrates Lane, May 29th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 29th

With the weather remaining far from settled - yesterday's wind and sunshine gave way to still and overcast conditions today - there remains hope that there are still some spring scarcities to be found and perseverance paid off in the afternoon with the discovery of a Woodchat Shrike at Barleycrates Lane; a Quail heard singing there from time to time whilst the Woodchat was under observation could perhaps be the individual last heard there a couple of weeks ago. Oddities aside it was more of the same on the migration front, with the Bill area producing just 3 Chiffchaff, a series of sightings of at least 2 Hobbies, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Reed Warbler. Seawatching there provided a trickle of Manx Shearwaters along with 14 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Great Northern Diver. Waders at Ferrybridge included 12 Sanderling.

Immigrants in the Obs garden moth-traps overnight: 2 Turnip, 1 Udea ferrugalis and a Bordered Straw.

Bee Orchids are now in flower at the Bill where several plants showing features of 'Wasp' Orchid have been found near the Obs Quarry.



  Cosmopolitan - Portland Bill, May 28th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 28th

A much less pleasant day than yesterday with the temperature kept in check by a stiff south-westerly wind that had sprung up overnight. A lone Chiffchaff was the only grounded summer migrant reported from the Bill area. Seawatching at the Bill produced 25 Manx Shearwaters, 14 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and a Sandwich Tern, whilst seawatching from Chesil Cove produced 50 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Common Scoter, a Great Northern Diver and a Great Skua.

Immigrants in the Obs garden moth-traps overnight: 3 Turnip, 3 Pearly Underwing, 2 Plutella xylostella, 1 Udea ferrugalis, 1 White-point and 1 Cosmopolitan.




  Red-rumped Swallows - Portland Bill, May 27th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 27th

By some margin the hottest day of the year so far. There was another pitifully small arrival of late migrants - 3 Chiffchaffs and a lone Wheatear were the only grounded migrants in the Bill area - but just as the day was being written off late in the morning a Red-rumped Swallow was spotted hawking over fields between the Obs and East Cliffs; it was soon realised that there were two individuals present and, remarkably, as they made a leisurely pass behind the Obs heading towards the Bill it became apparent that there were actually three individuals in the group. On reaching the Bill they flew purposefully out to sea and didn't return. The only other reports were of seawatching at the Bill that produced 37 Manx Shearwaters, 32 Common Scoter and 4 Sanderling, whilst the only migrant waders at Ferrybridge were 4 Sanderling.

Overnight moth-trapping at the Obs produced a better variety of resident species than have been evident lately but 2 Pearly Underwings were the only immigrants caught.

May 26th

Yesterday's minor resurgence in passage proved to be a flash in the pan and the fact that today a lone Chiffchaff was the only bird trapped and ringed at the Obs all morning was an entirely true reflection of the lack of new arrivals there; the only other grounded migrants reported from elsewhere around the Bill area were 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Willow Warblers, a Tree Pipit and a Reed Warbler. Seawatching at the Bill produced 115 Common Scoter, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Little Egrets, a Dunlin and a Curlew, and waders at Ferrybridge included 8 Sanderling.

Despite faintly promising-looking conditions the only immigrant in the Obs garden moth-traps this morning was a single Plutella xylostella.

May 25th

The wind and rain of recent days gave way to quieter conditions: a damp, misty morning and a muggy, sunny afternoon. A Bee-eater was a quality new arrival but in typical fashion it was seen for just a few minutes settled on the Lower Admiralty fence at the Bill before disappearing off into the mist. Common migrants at the Bill included 20 Spotted Flycatchers and 4 Sand Martins along with singles of Turtle Dove, Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Willow Warbler; elsewhere there was a Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail at Barleycrates Lane. The only seawatching news came from the Bill where 30 Manx Shearwaters and a Great Northern Diver passed by, whilst the handful of waders at Ferrybridge included 9 Sanderling.

May 24th

The almost autumnal start to day - gale force south-westerlies and frequent rain and drizzle showers - didn't promise much and most of the sighting reported came from the Bill where there were 3 Wheatears, a Turtle Dove and a Garden Warbler on the land and 90 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua past on the sea. Elsewhere there were 4 Sanderling, 2 Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge.



  Nuthatch - Portland Bill, May 23rd 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 23rd

At a very local level there was some big news in the morning when a Nuthatch was a surprise capture in the Obs garden mist-nets; this is only the eighth island record of the species and just the third to have been trapped and ringed. Otherwise it was more - or more strictly less - of the same as in recent days, with the only other migrants of note in the Bill area being 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Reed Warbler. Highlights on the sea were 25 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 2 Great Northern Divers, an Arctic Skua and a Little Tern passing through off the Bill. Waders at Ferrybridge included 15 Sanderling.

May 22nd

A mainly bright and blustery day with occasional heavy showers. Late migrants consisted of just a Short-eared Owl over Weston and a Hobby, a Whinchat, a Reed Warbler, a Garden Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher at the Bill. Six Sanderling, 2 Knot and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits were at Ferrybridge and seawatching at the Bill produced 36 Common Scoter, 20 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Sandwich Terns, a Pomarine Skua and an Arctic Skua.

May 21st

Still very quiet. The only new grounded migrants at the Bill were 5 Spotted Flycatchers, whilst there was hardly any change in wader numbers at Ferrybridge where there were 10 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Knot. The wet and windy conditions looked as though they might have produced some movement on the sea but in the event there were just 2 Pomarine Skuas off Chesil Cove and 14 Common Scoter, 3 Sandwich Terns and a trickle of Manx Shearwaters off the Bill.

May 20th

The weather remained very unsettled and the island was again something of a migration-free zone. Grounded migrants at the Bill amounted to no more than 2 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat, a Sedge Warbler and a Reed Warbler, whilst visible passage consisted of just a handful of Swifts and Swallows passing through. The sea fared poorly as well, with just 100 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Arctic Skuas and 3 Great Skuas passing the Bill. Waders at Ferrybridge included 10 Sanderling, 3 Knot, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel.

May 19th

A really quite miserable day of blusterly south-westerlies, low cloud and frequent drizzly showers. The umpteenth Golden Oriole of recent days was heard singing briefly at Easton during the morning but there were virtually no other new arrivals on the land. Seawatching at the Bill produced just 50 Manx Shearwaters, 45 Common Scoter, 4 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua. The only other report of interest was of a Barn Owl discovered roosting in the barn at Reap Lane that on close inspection was found to be a colour-ringed escaped captive bird.



  Common Tern - Chesil Beach, May 18th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 18th

A freshening southerly wind eventually pushed in a veil of high cloud but not before a crystal-clear dawn had spoilt any chance of a repeat of yesterday's flurry of common migrants. The handful of birds grounded at the Bill included nothing better than 4 Spotted Flycatchers, a Turtle Dove, a Reed Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat, whilst visible passage was disappointingly limited to just an early pulse of Swallows arriving in off the sea and a lone Hobby over the Bill. Seawatching was hardly any more eventful, with 3 Arctic Skuas and a few Manx Shearwaters and commic terns the only noteworthy sightings off the Bill during the morning and 2 Arctic Skuas lingering off Chesil Beach in the evening.

Late news for yesterday: a Brown Hare on Chesil Beach at Ferrybridge was another good mammal record for the day.




  Roe Deer and partial albino Sedge Warbler - Grove Corner and Portland Bill, May 17th 2005 © Peter Mowday (Roe Deer) and Martin Cade (Sedge Warbler)

  May 17th

Another complete change in the weather saw chilly, damp and breezy conditions at dawn drop a quite respectable late flurry of migrants. Golden Oriole seems to be bird of the moment, although today's two singles proved no easier to catch up with than the others in recent days: an early single flushed from Culverwell couldn't be found again whilst one heard singing later in the morning at the Grove Stadium also wasn't heard during subsequent searches; a Tree Sparrow at Avalanche Road was the most noteworthy of the day's other sightings. Commoner migrants at the Bill included 30 Whitethroats, 20 Wheatears, 20 Spotted Flycatchers, 15 Willow Warblers, 6 Reed Warblers, 5 Whinchats, 5 Sedge Warblers, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Redstarts, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Garden Warbler; additional species elsewhere included a Cuckoo at Barleycrates Lane. Seawatching was a dead loss, with nothing more off the Bill than a few passing Common Scoter and small numbers of Manx Shearwaters lingering offshore.

For once bird interest was overshadowed by a most unexpected mammal sighting. Following reports from a member of the public of a deer seen in the Grove area the animal in question was tracked down to a quarry at Grove Corner where it was identified as a Roe Deer (there is at least one previous record of this species just within the island boundary on Chesil Beach but there have been no previous records south of Ferrybridge).



  Short-eared Owl - Ferrybridge, May 16th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 16th

After some quite windy weather lately today dawned millpond-calm. Swifts and hirundines were still on the move in quantity and the scatter of typical late migrants on the ground included a total of around 30 Spotted Flycatchers dotted about the island. Quality was provided by a singing Quail between Reap Lane and Barleycrates Lane, a Golden Oriole at Avalanche Road briefly before flying off towards Easton and a Hen Harrier that flew through at Reap Lane. Seawatch reports included 59 Common Scoter, 35 commic terns, 2 Pomarine Skuas and an Arctic Skua past the Bill and a Pomarine Skua and an Arctic Skua off Chesil Beach. Three Knot were still at Ferrybridge, where a Short-eared Owl also passed overhead during the evening.



  Red-necked Grebe and Eider - Portland Harbour, May 15th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 15th

Plenty of interest again today although the lack of any numbers of grounded migrants would seem to indicate that for the bulk of commoner species spring passage is now drawing to a close. A singing Golden Oriole at Weston moved on very quickly and the land otherwise produced just small numbers of typical late arrivals such as Reed Warblers, Garden Warblers and Spotted Flycatchers. Visible passage was still strong, with remarkable numbers of Sand Martins for the time of year; a 90 minute sample count on the West Cliffs provided totals of 930 Swallows, 640 House Martins, 104 Sand Martins and 18 Swifts flying north, with 3 Hobbies also passing through at other times. The sea continued to produce plenty of variety, with 424 Manx Shearwaters, 328 commic terns, 75 Common Scoter, 26 Sanderling, 6 Pomarine Skuas, 6 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers and the first 2 Storm Petrels of the summer passing the Bill, and 290 commic terns, 144 Manx Shearwaters, 39 Sanderling, 29 Common Scoter, 17 Sandwich Terns, 6 Pomarine Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, a Curlew and a Roseate Tern passing Chesil Beach. Elsewhere the unseasonable Red-necked Grebe and Eider were still in Portland Harbour and there were 75 Dunlin, 8 Sanderling, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Knot at Ferrybridge.



  Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot - Ferrybridge, May 14th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 14th

An almost complete washout today, with rain setting in soon after dawn and lasting until the end of the afternoon. Ten Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Common Sandpipers were at the Bill but there was otherwise little in the way of grounded migrants although Swifts and hirundines passed through in good numbers and Hobbies arrived in off the sea at the Bill (5) and Chesil Beach (2). The sea provided most of the interest during the morning, with 400 commic terns, 10 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Black Terns passing through off Chesil Beach and 6 Pomarine Skuas and 2 Great Skuas passing the Bill; later in the day 798 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Pomarine Skuas and an Arctic Skua passed the Bill in the evening. Waders at Ferrybridge included 12 Sanderling, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits and 6 Knot, whilst a late Red-necked Grebe along with 5 Great Crested Grebes and an Eider were in Portland Harbour.

Some other much-anticipated news: Georgia Anne Cade was born just before midday yesterday - 8 days overdue and weighing in at 9lbs 3ozs.



Georgia Anne Cade





  Common Tern - Portland Harbour, May 13th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 13th

Despite the still strong wind having veered towards the north-east there were again birds on the move off Chesil Beach, where morning totals included 300 commic terns, 14 Black Terns, 12 Whimbrel, 7 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Wigeon, a Grey Plover and a Pomarine Skua; a Hobby also arrived in off the sea there. Seawatching at the Bill was much less productive, with the best there being 26 commic terns, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver and a trickle of Manx Shearwaters. The land was again very quiet, with nothing more than 15 Willow Warblers, 6 Wheatears, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, a Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler at the Bill.

May 12th

The stiff east wind that had set in over the last couple of days continued to strengthen towards gale force and most of the movement reported was on the sea. The Bill produced the numbers, with 342 commic terns, 56 Common Scoter, 11 Manx Shearwaters, a Red-throated Diver and a Bar-tailed Godwit logged, but Chesil Beach provided the variety, with totals of 23 Eider, 22 commic terns, 8 Sanderling, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Shoveler, 3 Whimbrel and a Black Tern passing through during the morning and 8 Pomarine Skuas and an Arctic Skua lingering offshore during the evening. Wader numbers increased at Ferrybridge, where there were 178 Dunlin, 18 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Sanderling and a Redshank. The land was something of the poor relation, with the strong wind making birding difficult and general lack of birds making it unrewarding; the Bill area produced just 10 Willow Warblers, 9 Wheatears, 7 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Whinchats, a Common Sandpiper and a Garden Warbler. Visible passage was slower than in recent days, with 100 Swifts and a Hobby being the best of the movement over the Bill.



  Sanderling - Ferrybridge, May 11th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 11th

Migrant numbers and variety dropped still further, with nothing more interesting grounded at the Bill than 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Whinchats, 2 Redstarts, 2 Sedge Warblers and a White Wagtail; passing Swifts and House Martins were conspicuous overhead and 2 Hobbies also passed through at the Bill. The sea was well-watched but provided just 38 commic terns, 8 Manx Shearwaters, 8 Sandwich Terns, a Great Northern Diver and a Black Tern passing the Bill and 21 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel off Chesil Beach. Waders at Ferrybridge included 138 Dunlin, 23 Sanderling, a Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Overnight moth-trapping in the Obs garden produced just one immigrant, a single Pearly Underwing.

May 10th

A much quieter day than yesterday with lower numbers of a more restricted range of migrants having arrived overnight. A redpoll calling from it's roost in the Obs garden at dawn was presumably yesterday's putative Mealy Redpoll but most grounded migrants other than Willow Warbler were restricted to just single figure totals. Visible passage was a lot more impressive with a sample one hour watch on the West Cliffs at the Bill producing counts of 215 Swallows, 192 House Martins, 48 Swifts, 16 Wheatears, 6 Whinchats, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Sand Martin and a Sedge Warbler moving north; a lone Hobby was the pick of the birds passing through at other times. Seawatching was fairly uneventful, although 32 Common Scoter, 6 Ringed Plover, a Great Northern Diver, a Mute Swan and a Great Skua passed through off the Bill.

Overnight moth-trapping at the Bill produced 1 Dark Sword Grass, 1 Delicate and 1 White-point.




  Adela reamurella and Mealy Redpoll - Easton and Portland Bill, May 9th 2005 © Bob Ford Nature Portfolio Image Library (Adela reamurella) and Martin Cade (Mealy Redpoll)

  May 9th

The sky remained virtually cloudless but the chilly north wind again did the trick by downing good numbers of common migrants. The centre and south of the island were particularly busy, with the fullest counts available from the Bill area where there were 100 Willow Warblers, 60 Wheatears, 50 Whitethroats, 30 Spotted Flycatchers, 20 Whinchats, 20 Reed Warblers, 20 Sedge Warblers, 15 Blackcaps, 10 Redstarts, 5 Garden Warblers, 4 Turtle Doves, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Nightingale and 1 Grasshopper Warbler. Swifts and hirundines were on the move in quantity everywhere, with more than 100 Swifts passing through at the Bill before mid-morning; 3 single Hobbies also passed through between the Bill and Barleycrates Lane. The only potential rarity reported was what looked like a good candidate to be a Mealy Redpoll that was trapped and ringed in the Obs garden during the evening. The sea remained very quiet, with nothing much more than 4 Red-throated Divers and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers passing the Bill.

Clouded Yellow butterflies were seen a two sites at the Bill today and the attractive day-flying micro-moth Adela reamurella has been seen in quantity at France Quarry, Easton, recently.

Late news for yesterday: a Quail flew in off the sea at the Bill late in the afternoon and the first Clouded Yellow butterfly of the year was on the wing at Church Ope Cove.

May 8th

Despite the weather remaining pretty much the same there were a good deal more common migrants on be found around the island. The Bill area produced good quantities of Swifts and hirundines along with 40 Willow Warblers, 25 Wheatears, 15 Blackcaps, 12 Sedge Warblers, 12 Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Garden Warblers, 5 Redstarts, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, a Whinchat and a Lesser Whitethroat; the similar variety elsewhere included a Wood Warbler at Easton and a Cuckoo at Barleycrates Lane. The stiff offshore breeze all but knocked seawatching on the head although persistent watchers were still rewarded with 29 Manx Shearwaters, 25 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Great Northern Divers and single Red-throated and Black-throated Divers passing the Bill.

Overnight moth-trapping in the Obs garden produced a single Pearly Underwing.

May 7th

A bright and breezy north-westerly day - not the weather to expect much on land or sea. The only scarcities reported were the Tree Sparrow that was seen a couple of times at the Bill and a Golden Oriole reported briefly in Top Fields. Otherwise it was a struggle to find anything on the land, with the odd single commoner migrants here and there including nothing better than a Hobby, a Cuckoo, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Bullfinch at the Bill. The sea produced just a few Manx Shearwaters, Common Scoter, Whimbrel and terns, 2 Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua passing the Bill.




  Turtle Dove and Tree Sparrow - Southwell, May 5th 2005 © Pete Saunders

  May 6th

The Tree Sparrow was seen at both Southwell and the Bill early in the morning and a Serin was at Southwell briefly later in the morning but it was otherwise hard work to find birds of note on the land, with the pick of the handful of commoner migrants in the Bill area being 6 Whimbrel, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Sedge Warblers, 3 Whinchats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Blackcaps, a Hobby, a Common Sandpiper, a Cuckoo, a Turtle Dove, a Tree Pipit and a Reed Warbler. The best of what little action there was on the sea were 3 Great Northern Divers, a Red-throated Diver and a Grey Plover passing through off the Bill; additionally a Black Tern was seen at Ferrybridge.

Orange-tip (at Barleycrates Lane) and Wall (at Southwell) butterflies were on the wing for the first time this year.




  Serin, Golden Oriole and Pine Beauty - Portland Bill, May 5th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 5th

A much better selection of birds today with a decent trio of oddities, a fair arrival of common migrants and a trickle of birds on the sea. Quality was provided by a typically fleeting visit by a Serin to the Obs garden, a Tree Sparrow that was seen briefly at the Obs and later near Culverwell before settling in a garden at Southwell and a couple of fly-rounds of the Bill area, several hours apart, by an extremely mobile - or could it have been more than one individual? - Golden Oriole. The flurry of commoner migrants at the Bill included 50 or so of both Wheatear and Willow Warbler, along with 10 Redstarts, 3 Turtle Doves and plenty of other variety, whilst overhead Swallows were on the move in quantity and another 4 Hobbies passed through.  Seawatching at the Bill produced 30 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Great Northern Divers, 3 Pomarine Skuas and an Arctic Skua.

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was on the wing at Weston. Overnight moth-trapping at the Obs produced 4 Delicate, 1 Pine Beauty (only the seventh island record), 1 Nomophila noctuella and 1 Plutella xylostella.



  Grey Seal - Portland Bill, May 4th 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 4th

A day of visible passage and a little sea movement but precious little else. Hirundines and Swifts were passing through in quantity but the pick of the fly-overs were a total of 4 Hobbies at various sites through the day. Seawatching at the Bill produced over 100 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Great Northern Divers, 3 Arctic Skuas, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Skua. Grounded migrants were few and far between, with the only one that was at all out of the ordinary being a Corn Bunting at Barleycrates Lane.

A Grey Seal was at the Bill during the morning and overnight moth-trapping at the Obs produced 2 Delicate.



  Rainbow - Portland Bill, May 3rd 2005 © Martin Cade

  May 3rd

The Kentish Plover remained at Ferrybridge but new arrivals were at a premium with the handful of migrants at the Bill including nothing of more quality than 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Whinchat and a Garden Warbler; the only news from other sites was of single Pied and a Spotted Flycatchers at Verne Common. The sea was a little more productive, with the Bill providing a steady trickle of Manx Shearwaters, along with 71 Common Scoter, 26 Whimbrel, 8 Sandwich Terns, 6 Great Skuas, 5 Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver, a Black-throated Diver and a Long-tailed Duck.

A Painted Lady was at Avalanche Road and overnight moth-trapping at the Obs produced 2 Delicate, 1 Plutella xylostella, 1 Udea ferrugalis, 1 Dark Sword Grass and 1 Silver Y.





  Pomarine Skuas, Woodchat Shrike, Woodchat watchers, The Delicate and Kentish Plover - Portland Bill, Southwell and Ferrybridge, May 2nd 2005 © Charlie Moores Charlie's Bird Blog (Woodchat Shrike) and Martin Cade (Pomarine Skuas, Woodchat watchers, The Delicate and Kentish Plover)

  May 2nd

This spring has seen a run of bumper Mondays and today proved to be no exception. Quality was provided by a Woodchat Shrike that showed up at Southwell during the morning, an Osprey that flew over the north of the island during the afternoon and finally a Kentish Plover that was found just prior to dusk at Ferrybridge. Commoner migrants were again only thinly scattered, with 3 Turtle Doves and a Black Redstart being the best on offer at the Bill. Chesil Beach provided the best of the seawatching, with totals of 122 Common Scoter, 53 Whimbrel, 30 Bar-tailed Godwits, 24 Manx Shearwaters, 18 Sandwich Terns, 14 commic terns, 8 Sanderling, 9 Pomarine Skuas, 9 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Black-throated Divers passing through; the best at the Bill were 84 commic terns, 8 Pomarine Skuas, 7 Arctic Skuas, 5 Great Northern Divers, 3 Great Skuas and 2 Red-throated Divers.

Overnight moth-trapping at the Obs produced single specimens of Plutella xylostella, Pearly Underwing, The Delicate and Silver Y.

May 1st

After the fog had cleared overnight it rolled back in soon after dawn and once again spoilt the morning's birding. Migrants were much more thinly spread than yesterday, with the best on view in the Bill area being 50 Wheatears, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Sedge Warblers, 4 Whinchats, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Garden Warblers, a Little Egret, a Turtle Dove,  a Cuckoo, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a Wood Warbler, a Goldcrest, a Pied Flycatcher and a Spotted Flycatcher; another Cuckoo was at Southwell School. The fog didn't clear enough to permit any serious seawatching at the Bill until mid-morning, but thereafter it seemed that precious little was on the move with a few Manx Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver being the only worthwhile sightings there.

A Red Admiral was on the wing in the Obs garden, a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was in a garden at Southwell and 4 Dark Sword Grass and a single Plutella xylostella were caught in the Obs garden moth-traps overnight.