19th July

Moth interest far surpassed the quality of the birding today, with the overnight thunderstorms that rolled across the Channel dumping a fantastic variety of waifs and strays around the island. The highlight was the first mainland UK specimen of Southern Grass Emerald caught at the Coastguard Cottages at the Bill; Portland's fourth Scarce Marsh Pearl Psammotis pulveralis was also caught at the Coastguards, whilst highlights from the Obs traps included Portland's second Dark Crimson Underwing and 4 Splendid Brocades. The bumper tally of back-up non-local species at the Obs - since long-distance immigrants were poorly represented, most of them presumably having originated in France - was as varied as we can ever remember from Portland and included high counts of 201 Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana and 197 Diamond-back Moth, along with a Wainscot Neb Monochroa palustrella (c3rd Portland record), a Saltmarsh Grass-veneer (first Portland record away from Ferrybridge) and a Chevron (ca4th Portland record); a full species list to follow later.

The day's birding paled in comparison, although interest was provided by the long-staying Hooded Crow still at Admiralty Quarry, 3 Common Sandpipers and singles of Dunlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill, 54 Common Scoter, 3 Balearic Shearwaters and a Little Egret through on the sea there and 82 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, a Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge.

Southern Grass Emerald, Scarce Marsh Pearl Psammotis pulveralisDark Crimson Underwing and Vagrant Piercer Cydia amplana - Portland Bill, 19th July 2014 © Martin Cade (Southern Grass Emerald & Dark Crimson Underwing), Robert Payne (Scarce Marsh Pearl) and Joe Stockwell (Vagrant Piercer)