9th June

A couple more June oddballs livened up proceedings today: a Hoopoe was flushed from a path at Wallsend but couldn't be found again after it disappeared into nearby horse-paddocks, whilst an equally brief Marsh Harrier passed through at the Bill. Singles of Yellow Wagtail and Chiffchaff were the only new commoner migrants at the Bill, a few Manx Shearwaters, 4 Common Scoter and singles of Great Skua and Mediterranean Gull passed through off the Bill and a Bar-tailed Godwit was new at Ferrybridge.

Immigrant lepidoptera interest remained at a fairly low level. By day, Painted Ladys have got a little more widespread although not at all numerous, with reports of ones and twos throughout the island today. Overnight, immigrant/dispersing moths trapped at the Obs included 14 Silver Y, 6 Diamond-back Moth, 2 Rusty-dot Pearl, singles of Orange Footman and Marbled White-spot and a Red Admiral butterfly.

We keep pondering the question at this time of year but never arrive at a satisfactory answer: what is it with Chiffchaffs - why do they have such an amazingly long spring migration period? We all know they arrive early but at least here at Portland it's the long drawn out tail end of spring passage that's so puzzling and so unlike that of every other summer migrant that passes through. This year hasn't been at all out of the ordinary in coming up with new Chiffchaffs throughout late May and early June - no less than 21 have been ringed in June alone - which wouldn't be odd if it weren't for the fact that spring passage started in the second week of March and has been trundling along without a stop ever since (up until today we've only not ringed a new Chiffchaff on six dates since 24th March) © Martin Cade:

Today's Bar-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge was a rather sad-looking specimen that looked to have a problem with its plumage © Pete Saunders: