20th June

With a fresher easterly breeze beginning to set in conditions were a little more conducive for fieldwork and there were a couple of surprises to show for the day's efforts. With the month slipping away it was looking like Common Rosefinch - perhaps the classic Portland June rarity - might be a no-show this year so a brief spell of song from one hidden in the depths of the Southwell gardens during the afternoon was welcome even if the bird couldn't be seen. For the most part the rewards from the sea at the Bill - 10 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Common Scoter, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern - were to be expected, but the 2 fly-by Red-breasted Mergansers there were much less seasonable. The day's other reports included 70 Swifts and 4 Sand Martins through over the Bill and 3 new Chiffchaffs and a new Blackcap at the Obs.

Overnight moth-trapping was very busy indeed; immigrant activity was still quite limited but there was much more evidence of short-range dispersal than in recent nights. Immigrant totals at the Obs included 27 Diamond-back Moth, 6 Silver Y, 5 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Rush Veneer, Olive-tree Pearl and European Corn-borer, with further singles of Olive-tree Pearl and European Corn-borer at the Grove.

Auks below their breeding ledges at the Bill today © Roger Hewitt:

Having spent the last three nights on miscellaneous mothing forays around the island and elsewhere we've got behind with updates. The moth highlight has been Portland's first Lunar Hornet Clearwing that was found clinging to a recently opened mist-net at the Obs shortly after dawn yesterday; over the years we've had a couple of subliminal glimpses of insects that we felt sure must have been one of other of the hornet clearwings so yesterday's record was very welcome in finally providing confirmation of Lunar Hornet - presumably by far the more likely of the two species to occur here © Martin Cade: