24th May

Although the best part of the day was very warm and blazingly sunny early cloud cover had lingered long enough to drop what amounted to a pretty respectable little flurry of late migrants. Most of the coverage was of the Bill area where 20 Spotted Flycatchers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 3 Reed Warblers, at least 3 new Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps and singles of Whimbrel, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler were logged; limited looks elsewhere came up with a scatter of additional Spotted Flycatchers together with a Black Redstart at Southwell Business Park. A steady trickle of Manx Shearwaters off the Bill totalled more than 150 but a single Great Northern Diver was the only other sighting of note.

The first Meadow Brown butterflies of the year were on the wing at the Bill.

A warm, overcast night saw moths trapped in their highest numbers so far this year; at the Obs the immigrant tally consisted of 11 Diamond-back Moth, 3 each of Rusty-dot Pearl, Small Mottled Willow and Silver Y, 2 Rush Veneer and 1 Pearly Underwing, with dispersing singles of Small White Wave, Rosy Wave and Orange Footman providing additional local interest.

Spotted Flycatchers are usually the best represented migrant in falls this late in the spring:

Small Mottled Willows aren't particularly noteworthy at Portland - the average annual total at the Obs in recent years is 135 - but we always think of their presence as being a good indicator that better quality is in the offing...

...last night's catch at the Obs didn't include any other scarce long-distance immigrants but singles of Rosy Wave and Small White Wave were wanderers of interest - both are in the fewer than 10 records ever category there all photos © Martin Cade: