13th June

Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some but it was a good day for us, with two totally out of the blue oddities showing up when least expected on what was another day of heat and blazing sunshine. Hooded Crows are sufficiently rare visitors to Portland these days that a minor local twitch developed when one flew in from the north and lingered for a few hours at the Bill. Unfortunately it didn't remain long enough for the county lister who'd travelled furthest; however, his determined quest for his quarry led to the entirely serendipitous discovery, right in the heat of the middle of the day, of a nightingale in song in Top Fields. The date alone was enough to raise suspicions that it could be a Thrush Nightingale, but as it was resolutely invisible deep in cover these were only fully confirmed once recordings were made and checked out; the bird remained - still invisible bar a couple of the briefest of glimpses when it responded to visitor's sound lures - until dusk although its snatches of song became briefer and further between as the day went on. In comparison, the rest of the day's sightings were entirely inconsequential, but did include 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Grey Heron at the Bill, and 11 Common Scoter, 5 Sandwich Terns and a Whimbrel through on the sea there.

Moth immigrants in the Obs garden traps included 27 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Clouded Buff (the third this year and only the sixth ever) and Silver Y.

Hooded Crow - Portland Bill, 13th June 2014 © Martin Cade
...although the Thrush Nightingale was barely glimpsed, let along photographed, the recordings were enough to confirm its identity: