28th July

Autumn migration feels like its starting to gather up a bit of momentum, with today being the best day for migration for some time. The highlight of today was a Cuckoo seen in top fields, elsewhere at the bill there were 14 Sedge Warbler, 12 Willow Warbler, 37 Swallow, 7 Sand Martin, 6  Swift, 11 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper and singles of Grasshopper Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Wheatear, House Martin and Turnstone. A pretty standard affair on the sea with 250 Manx Shearwater, 10 Common Scoter And singles of Great Skua, Yellow-legged Gull and Black-headed Gull. Meanwhile at Ferrybridge wader numbers continue to increase with 110 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling and a lonesome Redshank; a single Arctic Tern was also dropped in there.

A rather pitiful selection of immigrant moths at the Obs amounted to no more than 3 Silver Y, a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Dark Sword Grass; elsewhere, the island's second Leopard Moth was the pick of the catch at the Grove.

Little Tern, Leopard Moth and Beech-green Carpet - Ferrybridge and the Grove, 28th July 2016 © Pete Saunders (Little Tern) and Martin Cade (the moths)

...assuming Leopard Moth isn't a hitherto undetected resident somewhere off the beaten track - the only other Portland record is from Ferrybridge so today's specimen is the first recorded from the 'island' itself - this battered individual certainly pulled out all the stops and rubbed itself bare of most scales to get here.

Beech-green Carpet is one of the odder island inhabitants: a predominantly northern species, Portland remains its only Dorset site; although quite common in places on the undercliffs and quarried edges of the island we have yet to record the species in umpteen years of trapping at the Obs and today's specimen is the first from nearly four years of trapping at the Grove.