7th August

It's fair to say that precious little was expected from the clear dawn that followed an equally clear and very moonlit night - great conditions for migration but far from great for grounding the migrants; however, the birds turned conventional wisdom on its head and dropped in easily their highest numbers so far this autumn. An over-flying Stone Curlew provided the quality at the Bill (towards evening it appeared again flying north over the Southwell Business Park), but the total of a minimum of 250 Sedge Warblers - an all-time record for Portland - was in many ways just as impressive; back-up totals included 300 Sand Martins, 100 Willow Warblers, 70 Swifts (a couple of days ago we clearly wrote them off for this year much too prematurely!), 30 Whitethroats, 25 Wheatears and single figure totals of a good variety of other largely expected species; a similar assortment elsewhere included another minor highlight in the form of a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Blacknor. The sea received little attention, although a lone Balearic Shearwater passing the Bill did make the tally.

The main interest from overnight mothing was another influx of Vagrant Piercer Cydia amplana, with 30 at the Obs, 7 at West Weare and a single at the Grove; the best of the other seemingly new immigrants included 12 Silver Y (the second highest total so far this year - it's been a shocking summer for this species) and singles of Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratanaMarbled Yellow Pearl Evergestis extimalis and Hoary Knot-horn Gynancyla canella at the Obs and Bordered Straw at the Grove.


Stone Curlew and Yellow-legged Gull - Portland Bill, 7th August 2014 © Martin Cade (Stone Curlew) and Keith Pritchard Gulls and Terns (Yellow-legged Gull)
...and a nice ringing recovery/sighting; this colour-ringed/flagged Sanderling was at Ferrybridge from last Sunday until at least yesterday (photo © Pete Saunders):
Jeroen Reneerkens has kindly let us know that it was first ringed in December 2010 at the Banc d' Arguin, Mauritania; it was there again during November 2011 but there had been no subsequent sightings until last Friday (1st August) when it pitched up at Start Point, Devon - two days before dropping in at Ferrybridge.