20th December

Catching one new moth for the island during December was unexpected but two new species on consecutive nights was indeed remarkable, with an African Sober Syncopacma polychromella at the Grove following hot on the heels of yesterday's Eastern Bordered Straw; immigrant rewards were otherwise pretty scant, with just 2 each of Rush Veneer and Small Mottled Willow, and a single Rusty-dot Pearl to show from a total of 20 traps operated overnight at sites around the centre and south of the island.

Although new rarity interest was lacking, there was a fair bit about in the bird line, with 70 Goldfinches south at the Bill, 3 Purple Sandpipers and singles of Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Firecrest on the ground there and another Red-throated Diver through on the sea, 3 Chiffchaffs, a Grey Heron and a Short-eared Owl at Southwell, Black Redstarts at Blacknor, Balaclava Bay (3) and Portland Castle, the Siberian Chiffchaff still at Portland Castle and 5 Great Northern Divers in Portland Harbour.

African Sober, Short-eared Owl, Kingfisher and Grey Heron - The Grove, Southwell and Portland Castle, 20th December 2015 © Martin Cade (African Sober), Pete Saunders (SEOwl and Kingfisher) and Nick Stantiford (Grey Heron)
Just a matter of days ago African Sober had been recorded fewer than ten times in Britain, so the subsequent influx - right across southern England - of several dozen has been a remarkable event for so tiny an insect; we couldn't resist staging today's specimen next to the better-known immigrant micro, Rusty-dot Pearl, to put its size in perspective:
...and at the same time we took the opportunity to get an 'out of the tube' photo of yesterday's Eastern Bordered Straw: