24th May

A couple more nice surprises today in the form of a Bee-eater heard overhead at Weston and an Ortolan Bunting that dropped in briefly at the Pulpit Bushes. Migrant numbers otherwise continued to dwindle, with just 2 Wheatears and 2 Chiffchaffs at the Bill, 21 Dunlin, 15 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover and a Greenshank at Ferrybridge and a light trickle of passing hirundines everywhere.

Despite less than promising conditions there was a conspicuous increase in immigrant moth numbers. The night's highlight was a Common Spruce Bell Epinotia tedella at Sweethill - the first Portland record of this Norway Spruce and Sitka Spruce feeder; amongst the rest of the catches singles of Small Mottled Willow at the Obs, Bordered Straw and Orange Footman at Sweethill and Bordered Straw at the Grove were of particular note.

Ortolan Bunting and Common Spruce Bell - Portland Bill and Sweethill, 24th May 2015 © Keith Pritchard portlandbirder (Ortolan) and Debby Saunders (Common Spruce Bell)