7th August

A foggy start to the morning that looked like it had potential for a few new migrants. After only a few hours of fieldwork it there was evidently little happening. At the Bill there was 7 Willow Warbler, 10 sedge Warbler, 30 Sand Martin and a single Black Redstart. Highlights from the sea were 7 Balearic Shearwater, 16 Manx Shearwater, 28 Common Scoter and a single Mediterranean Gull. Waders at Ferrybridge included 7 Sanderling and 4 Redshank.

Green-veined Whites, Common Blues and Painted Lady - Bottomcombe and Portland Bill, 7th August 2016 © Ken Dolbear

Last night's moth interest was sufficiently minimal that we may as well dwell for a moment on some of last week's highlights. We're very grateful to Sean Foote who looked after the Obs moth-traps in our absence, whilst elsewhere Anthony persevered with trapping at Culverwell; it certainly wasn't a vintage week for immigrants but there were actually some really quite nice captures to show for their efforts. These days, we hesitate to trumpet some records as new for the island because we've got such a huge backlog of set specimens from recent years that some species might already have occurred but await identification/confirmation; that said, we don't have any previous published records of Heather Tortrix Argyrotaenia ljungiana (this one was caught by Sean at the Obs on 31st July; thanks to Glen Maddison for the photo):

...or of Maple Pug (this one was caught by Anthony at Culverwell on 1st August; photo MC):

Anthony's trapping at Culverwell has been quite a revelation: we have to admit to being rather sniffy about the merits of Heath traps over 'proper' mercury vapour traps but we clearly shouldn't be so scornful as the two traps that we've had kicking around for ages and hardly ever used have proved to be extremely effective when deployed at Culverwell. Quite apart from the pug, Anthony's captures there have included multiple Dingy Shears (indicating the species is likely to be established there having hitherto been considered to be just a vagrant) and this Olive a couple of nights ago (the fourth island record; photo MC):