1st June

It was a sad reflection on the quality of the birding that on what was the nicest day for a while the highlight - if you can call it that - was a Barnacle Goose that arrived from the west over Verne Common and a few minutes later did a fly-round over the Bill before heading off to the north. There were a few 'proper' migrants about, of which the best at the Bill were another 10 Reed Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Spotted Flycatcher on the ground and 3 Common Buzzards and a Hobby passing through overhead. The only worthwhile reports from elsewhere were of 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Grey Plover at Ferrybridge.

With immigrants hardly featuring in the Obs garden moth-traps this morning - 4 Diamond-back Moths were the only conventional migrants making the list - it was a surprise to find only our fourth ever Clouded Buff amongst the catch.

Barnacle Goose - Portland Bill, 1st June 2014 © Martin Cade
In the absence of any sustained immigration there have been few moth highlights so far this year; local interest this weekend came in the form of today's Clouded Buff and yesterday's Green Silver-lines, the latter being a scarce but seemingly increasing wanderer to Portland:
Among the diurnal moths the often overlooked Mother Shipton is now on the wing (moth photos © Martin Cade):
Also just lately there's been a worrying development at the auk colony on the cliffs at the Bill where one of the local Ravens have discovered the knack of stealing Guillemot's eggs; we first heard of this a few weeks ago and had hoped it was just a one-off, but in recent days egg shells have been found on the cliff top, whilst today Matt Phipps photographed the culprit in action:
...the auks have had plenty to contend with already this year so this is really adding insult to injury.