6th July

In fresher, westerly conditions there was a little more movement today. A light trickle of southbound Swifts and Sand Martins - totalling 21 and 13 respectively at the Bill - was evident through the morning, when new waders included 16 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge and 2 Whimbrel and a Redshank at the Bill. Seawatching came up with 25 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Black-headed Gulls and an Arctic Skua off the Bill, whilst 18 Mediterranean Gulls were at Ferrybridge.

The second island record of Grey-streaked Smudge Plutella porrectella at Sweethill - the first was at the same site last October - was the pick of the overnight moth catch; since the first record was at the same site last October it could be that this species is established at Southwell, where the larval foodplant - Dame's-violet - maybe occurs as a garden plant (as far as we've been able to ascertain it's otherwise only an occasional 'casual' on the island). An increase in Dark Sword Grass - including 7 very fresh specimens in the Obs traps - were perhaps the progeny of earlier immigrants, whilst singles of Diamond-back Moth, Rusty-dot Pearl, Marbled White-spot and Silver Y made up the rest of the tally at the Obs.

Black-tailed Godwit, Raven and Grey-streaked Smudge - Ferrybridge and Sweethill, 6th July 2014 © Pete Saunders (the birds) and Debby Saunders (the moth)
And the island's sixth modern record of Sand Dart that we didn't get round to yesterday (© Martin Cade):
...the circumstances of this occurrence were peculiar to say the least: at the end of a short car journey between the Obs and home we were greeted with a 'Daddy, what's this moth?' query as our daughter disturbed a moth which fell out of the car as she opened the door; not expecting anything of consequence, we were rather astonished to find it was a Sand Dart. We can only imagine that we caught it without realising when trapping at Ferrybridge two nights ago - maybe it had been on the underside of the sheet - and it had been in the car ever since. Sand Dart was known from Ferrybridge in the Victorian era and has always been at the back of our mind as something to look out for - perhaps it is still there?