2nd June

We begin with the sad news of the passing of Ted Levy; Ted was best known to us at Portland as the co-author with his son, David, of reports on the hoverflies of the island that were published for many years in our annual report. Ted and David worked tirelessly on the hoverfly fauna of this region and published guides to the hoverflies of both Dorset and Somerset. Ted's knowledge and enthusiasm will be sorely missed and we extend our sincere condolences to his sons, Mike and David.

Although the fog made an attempt at a comeback - at least at the Bill where it lingered for several hours either side of midday - today for most part saw a return to the sunny sky and warmth of summer. The birding had a touch of colour about it with the Rosy Starling at the Bill being joined by a second individual - perhaps all the sightings in the last week have related just to the two original birds that found each other again today - and a Red-backed Shrike showing up at Coombefield Quarry. Commoner migrants included 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, and singles of Redstart, Black Redstart, Blackcap and Willow Warbler at the Bill, a Reed Warbler at the Grove, singles of Black Redstart and Siskin at Blacknor and 20 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, 6 Turnstones and 2 Whimbrel at Ferrybridge.

A quite major influx of Silver Ys has been developing in recent days, with large numbers visiting Red Valerian flowers even during the daylight hours; more than 170 were caught overnight in one moth-trap at the Grove. Immigrant totals from the Obs traps included 30 Silver Y, 22 Diamond-back Moth, 4 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Dark Sword Grass, Dark Spectacle and Gold Spot. At least 1 Clouded Yellow was at the Bill today.

Just occasionally the best laid plans do come to fruition and Erin's quest for a Red-backed Shrike today involved a lot of legwork but eventually came up with the most handsome of rewards © Erin Taylor (stills) and Martin Cade (video):  

Clouded Yellow and Mother Shipton in the Obs Quarry Field today © Ted Pressey: