13th July

A surprisingly entertaining selection today with the millpond calm conditions and, at times through the morning at least, decent cloud cover making for more comfortable birding than has sometimes been the case in recent weeks. The sea was again busiest, with 93 Common Scoter, 39 Manx Shearwaters, c30 Mediterranean Gulls, at least 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua through or lingering off the Bill. Dispersal rather than migration looked to accounting for most of what turned up on the land there, with 8 Sand Martins and singles of Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler all of note. Elsewhere, a/the Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Southwell and 5 Dunlin, a Redshank and a Sandwich Tern at Ferrybridge.

Dispersal also looked be accounting for most of the overnight moth interest, with a Brown Oak Slender Acrocercops brongniardella at the Obs constituting yet another addition to the island list.

The recent sightings of Great Spotted Woodpeckers - this one was a Southwell today - have all been of juveniles and most likely all relate to the same wandering individual. They're surely going to breed before long but for the time being we have no evidence of that so presumably this and the other increasingly frequent annual sightings at this time of year refer to dispersal from the mainland © Debby Saunders:

There must surely be a finite number of moth species that could occur at Portland but we never seem to reach that total. Despite the island being well worked for lepidoptera for well over 150 years additions to the list keep cropping up, with this Brown Oak Slender Acrocercops brongniardella at the Obs just the latest © Martin Cade:

It isn't very often these days that two species get added to the Obs garden list in one night; additional to the Brown Oak Slender this London Dowd Blastobasis lacticolella was also a garden tick overnight. We don't know when this adventive first reached Portland (it was only recorded for the first time Britain in the 1940s) but it was already well established when initially discovered at the Grove and at St Andrews Church in 2011; it's taken another seven years but it's finally got nearly as far south as it's going to get in Dorset! © Martin Cade:

Widespread enough on the mainland but always a nice sight on Portland, this Oak Hook-tip was a first record for the trap site at Sweethill © Debby Saunders: