29th August

A pretty low-key day although the late in the day arrival of complete cloud cover and a freshening breeze hinted at what sounds to be a welcome change in the weather that's on the way for tomorrow. Yellow Wagtails were still about and accounted for most of the day's numbers, with around 200 early on but many fewer as the day wore on. The Marsh Harrier was still at the Bill, at least for a while during the morning, but it was otherwise very quiet everywhere, with 4 Whinchats, 3 White Wagtails and 3 Spotted Flycatchers about the best on offer amongst the very thin spread of new grounded arrivals at the Bill. Ferrybridge came up with 6 Sanderling, 3 Mute Swans and a Bar-tailed Godwit, whilst the summering Eider was still in Portland Harbour.

Immigrant moth numbers increased a little, with 27 Rush Veneer, 19 Dark Sword Grass, 17 Rusty-dot Pearl, 6 Silver Y, 2 each of Olive-tree Pearl, European Corn-borer and Delicate, and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Vestal and Pearly Underwing trapped overnight at the Obs; a similar selection elsewhere included singles of Olive-tree Pearl and Vestal at Sweethill, a Vestal at Reap Lane and a Small Mottled Willow at Weston.

We're usually too tied up at this time of year with birds and the static moths traps to be able find either the time or energy to be able to get out mobile moth-trapping, but the balmy conditions a couple of nights ago tempted us out to Ferrybridge for a few hours where we were mainly on the lookout for some of the local micros. It was quite a surprise to find several Saltmarsh Grass-veneer Pediasia aridella still on the wing - albeit now looking pretty shoddy - this late in the summer:

...and amongst them a Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella was even more unexpected; we catch the odd one now and again at the Obs where we'd always imagined they were immigrants/dispersers but the short turf at the end of the Ferrybridge carpark looks to be a pretty suitable breeding site for them and we wouldn't mind betting that they turn out to be resident there: 

Considering there was Sea Aster dotted about around the trap it probably wasn't a surprise to catch a few Large Saltmarsh Conch Phalonidia affinitana - a local species in Dorset restricted to saltmarsh beside the Fleet and Poole Harbour (although we have recorded it once or twice wandering out as far as the Obs) photos © Martin Cade