16th June

Overnight, 8 Storm Petrels were tape-lured and ringed (and several more seen but not caught) during a trapping session either side of midnight at the Bill tip. The daylight hours were rather less productive, although the slow beginnings of autumn passage was again signalled by the likes of 6 Mediterranean Gulls at Ferrybridge and 2 Curlew and 2 Black-headed Gulls through at the Bill. The Hooded Crow continued to roam around between the Bill and the Grove, 5 Chiffchaffs at the Bill included at least 2 new arrivals and singles of Redstart and Blackcap both remained in situ there.

A Bordered White at the Grove was the pick of the overnight catch of non-resident moths; immigrants/wanderers at the Obs included 32 Rusty-dot Pearl, 15 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Silver Y and 2 Cream-bordered Green Pea.

Storm Petrel, Bordered White and Hare - Portland Bill, the Grove and Ferrybridge, 16th and 15th June 2014 © Martin Cade (Storm Petrel and Bordered White) and Debby Saunders (Hare)

...eight petrels would be a paltry return for a couple of hours effort at sites on the West Coast or in the Northern Isles, and it wouldn't have been much cop here 20 years ago in a bygone era when our record was something like 32 in a night; however for the last decade or so we've struggled to catch at rates of more than about one an hour, which does get rather disheartening when you're already suffering from acute sleep deprivation. With fewer being seen by day as well we'd begun to think that maybe they'd forsaken Portland waters for good but hopefully that'll prove not to be the case.