8th June

With the warmth and sunshine only spoilt by a couple of passing showers during the evening, today saw a good deal of coverage, even if the rewards were pretty limited. The sea continued to come up with most of the variety, with 51 Common Scoter, 4 Great Skuas, 3 Sandwich Terns and a Balearic Shearwater passing the Bill and a few Manx Shearwaters milling around offshore all day. New arrivals on the land were limited to 2 Chiffchaffs and a Reed Warbler at the Bill and another Reed Warbler at Southwell.

There was a conspicuous increase in Red Admiral numbers throughout the island, whilst only the second Clouded Yellow of the year was at the Bill. Moth immigrants included 7 Rusty-dot Pearls, 2 each of Diamond-back Moth and Silver Y, and singles of Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Delicate in the Obs garden moth-traps; 2 Tipula maxima craneflies were also caught in the traps.

Tipula maxima and Delicate - Portland Bill, 8th June 2014 © Martin Cade
...we know pretty well nothing about crane-flies except having gleaned that the strikingly-marked Tipula maxima is Britain's largest Daddy Long-legs; we're not even sure whether Tipula maxima is a permanent resident at Portland, although that perhaps seems unlikely as we're not sure we've ever encountered it 'at large' and its usual haunts are described as moist and often wooded locations. The only reason we've learnt anything about the species is that it turns up from time to time in the moth-traps and, maybe fancifully, we think of it a good indicator that there's interesting immigration in the offing - today's immigrant moth haul was hardly vintage, but perhaps it was just the vanguard of what's to come!