20th July

Although not in the same league as yesterday's events, it was again the mothing that stole the show with the island's first Clouded Magpie and the fifth Splendid Brocade of the weekend the highlights of an excursion to Pennsylvania Castle either side of midnight, and a Sub-angled Wave - another first for Portland - the best of the overnight catch at the Obs. Diamond-back Moth and Marbled Piercer again provided all the numbers - including 131 and 50 respectively at the Obs - and, like yesterday, longer-distance immigrants were very sparsely spread through the overnight catches; however there was a fine variety of infrequently-caught strays that included a Pale Water-veneer Donacaula forficella at Sweethill and 2 more Saltmarsh Grass-veneers and singles of Vagrant Piercer and Barred Red at the Obs.

The daylight hours did provide a little bit of bird action, with the first autumn reports of Wheatear (2) and Tree Pipit of particular interest at the Bill; also there 16 Cormorants left to the south, singles of Greenshank and Whimbrel passed over, a Common Sandpiper was grounded and 71 Manx Shearwaters, 14 Common Scoter, 6 Balearic Shearwaters, a Mallard and an Arctic Skua passed through on the sea. Elsewhere, 2 Greenshanks were the pick of the waders at Ferrybridge and the Hooded Crow was again at Admiralty Quarry.

Clouded Magpie, Splendid Brocade and Sub-angled Wave - Pennsylvania Castle and Portland Bill, 20th July 2014 © Martin Cade