14th August

Yesterday's frustrations were nothing compared with those thrown at us today, with heavy rain that set in overnight really dragging its heels and not finally clearing through until teatime; this in itself mightn't have been a problem but for the fact that migrants were clearly plentiful but, waders and terns aside, almost impossible to get amongst. Overnight, waders were a real feature at the Bill, where the 9 species - including 2 Green Sandpipers - heard overhead before the onset of the rain set the tone for what was follow during the daylight hours; interest amongst the grounded birds at dawn there included 7 Whimbrel, 6 Common Sandpipers, 4 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover and a Knot, whilst the falling tide at Ferrybridge later revealed a hatful of variety that included 180 Common Terns, 10 Little Terns, 3 Arctic Terns, 2 Knot and singles of Golden Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Greenshank, Snipe and Common Sandpiper. The Obs garden was again leaping with Willow Warblers but the rain thwarted all attempts at meaningful fieldwork and all but a half hour of ringing, with a lone Pied Flycatcher there the only other noteworthy report on the passerine front. Odds and ends through on the sea at the Bill included 9 Balearic Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua and a Little Gull.

Until the onset of the rain the night had looked to be near perfect for moth-trapping and there were plenty of rewards - even if soggy egg-trays and bedraggled moths had become quite an issue by the time traps came to be checked. The night's highlight were 3 Wood Grass-veneers Crambus silvella - a new species for Portland - from the Obs traps. Although immigrant numbers there showed a conspicuous increase - including 35 Silver Y, 21 Rush Veneer and 15 Dark Sword Grass - it was the unexpected wanderers that showed up that provided the best of the interest, with 4 Water Veneers and singles of Bulrush Cosmet Limnaecia phragmitella and Bulrush Veneer Calamotropha paludella being of particular note; elsewhere, 2 Gems and a Convolvulus Hawk-moth were the best of the catch at Sweethill.

Little Stint, Ruff, Snipe, Common & Little Terns, Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Wood grass-veneer and Water Veneer - Ferrybridge, Sweethill and Portland Bill, 14th August 2104 © Pete Saunders (the waders), Debby Sunders (the terns and Convolvulus Hawk) and Martin Cade (the other moths)