14th July

A nice warm, sunny day afforded more opportunity for migrants to get going. At the Bill, 65 Sand Martins were logged but there was no coverage of West Cliffs so - like yesterday - the feeling was that this total was a considerable underestimate; small numbers of Swallows were also again mingled in. Three Whimbrel and singles of Dunlin, Yellow Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler also cropped up there, whilst 13 Sanderling, a Great Crested Grebe and a Redshank were at Ferrybridge. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 35 Common Scoter, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Black-headed Gulls and an Oystercatcher.

Obs immigrant moth totals: 24 Diamond-back Moth and 3 Silver Y.

Great Crested Grebe, Emperor Dragonfly and Marbled White - Ferrybridge, Portland Bill and Verne LNR, 14th July 2016 © Debby Saunders (GCGrebe) and Ken Dolbear (Emperor & Marbled White)

Also, many thanks to John Dadds for an update on the latest situation with the Ferrybridge Little Terns: This year looks like yet again being a fantastic year for the little terns of Chesil Beach. Breeding pairs continue to rise with 38 this year up from 33 last year. Almost all the eggs hatched with the help of the continued use of sand patches. Food supply appears to be good with several pairs laying 3 eggs and plenty of food available to the chicks. Well over 20 pairs laid their eggs in the first week of nesting at the end of May and the vast majority of chicks have now fledged with, unlike the last two years, no predation from the West Weares kestrels. It must be a good vole year! There should now be over 50 fledglings (photo of one of them below) and there could well be over 60 by the end of the season. Darvic ringing has been very successful with 13 adults and over 30 chicks ringed. One of the photos on the PBO website a couple of days ago showed a bird which was ringed as a chick last year. If this bird bred then it is most unusual as it is believed that little terns normally don’t breed until 3 or 4 years old.