18th June

The rewards for sticking with it at this time of year are the more pleasing for being so hard won and today came up a couple of typical midsummer goodies: a Bee-eater that flew north along West Cliffs early in the morning escaped the attention of most but, by virtue of turning up in a net at the Obs, a midday Greenish Warbler was well-viewed even if it kept a low profile after release. After yesterday's no-show the Great Spotted Cuckoo did eventually make a short reappearance at Reap Lane. The oddities aside, the day came up with the Short-eared Owl lingering on at the Bill, 2 Blackcaps also there on the land and 6 Black-headed Gulls, a Curlew, a Great Skua and a trickle of Manx Shearwaters through on the sea.

The overnight Diamond-back Moth total in the Obs garden moth-traps dropped back to just 5.

Greenish Warbler - Portland Bill, 18th June 2016 © Martin Cade

Also from today, there was an interesting record of local significance when Lesser Whitethroat was proved to breed for the first time at the Bill (in Top Fields) when three young was watched being fed by an adult - an event that, hitherto, hadn't even been suspected to have been in the offing; Lesser Whitethroats breed annually in small numbers at Verne Common/East Weare and there have been probable/possible records on odd occasions elsewhere around the island but as far as we're aware breeding has never been suspected in 10km square SY6868. Thanks to Anthony Bentley for a couple of long range record photos of this event:

It does make you wonder just how much we miss when, on just one day on a pretty well-worked headland day-visitors jam into a Bee-eater that escapes everyone else's attention, Lesser Whitethroats are found that have patently been around completely undetected for several weeks and then a Greenish Warbler drops in that very likely would never have been found if it hadn't blundered into a mist-net. What else was about in all those other lovely little bits of habitat around the island that don't get looked at from one month to the next, let alone one day to the next?