22nd June

After a night of welcome rain the only obvious new arrival at the Bill was a Blackcap in song at the Obs (it was singing in the rain at dawn and still blasting it out towards dusk). The sea provided the best of the rest, with 30 Manx Shearwaters and a Great Skua through off the Bill.

Immigrant interest in the moth-traps consisted largely of small numbers of apparent lingers, amongst which a few Bordered Straws continue to feature; further interest from the Obs traps came in the form of the second island record of Buff Long-horn Nematopogon metaxella (the first was a Sweethill in June 2013). The peculiar circumstances surrounding the addition of another species to the island list - Juniper Webber Dichomeris marginella - are detailed below.

Buff Long-horn and Juniper Webber - Portland Bill, 22nd June 2015 © Martin Cade

...the Juniper Webber came to our attention in a rather unexpected fashion when we happened to notice it already potted on the Obs lounge table. It turned out that the pot belonged to one of our guests - Robert Payne - who'd found the moth yesterday inside his car when he returned from fieldwork at Tout Quarry and Cheyne Weare; duly potted the moth was still awaiting identification when we spotted it. Robert assures us that the most likely explanation was that the moth entered his car at either Tout or Cheyne, and that he hadn't, for example, been carrying a moth-trap in the car from which it might have escaped (he hadn't been trapping anywhere else and the moth doesn't occur in his garden at Harrow). 'Wild' Juniper - the larval foodplant - doesn't occur on Portland but we've already heard via Bob Ford and Debby Saunders of cultivated junipers in gardens at the Grove and Southwell and it may be that there's a hitherto undetected population somewhere on the island.

Finally, another recording of yesterday's Red-breasted Flycatcher. We'd forgotten that when it first showed up we made a quick recording with the phone in case it disappeared/shut up; the squeaky little 'alternative' call - which we didn't hear later - features right at the beginning of this phone recording: