2nd May

The belt of weather between us and the continent remained resolutely in place and was likely keeping many migrants grounded in France; however, there was a slight improvement on yesterday with passing Swallows in particular a little more conspicuous. A singing Grasshopper Warbler within earshot of the Obs was a surprise at this stage of the spring, whilst the lingering Bullfinch put in another net-evading performance there. By way of numbers, low double figure totals of Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher led the way, whilst further variety including a lone Canada Goose, a couple more incoming Hobbys, a Pied Flycatcher and ones and twos of a few of the commoner migrants. In a northwesterly breeze the sea remained uneventful: 2 Great Northern Divers and a single Black-throated Diver were the best of it off the Bill.   

Sedge Warbler at Sweethill © Pete Saunders:

Moth interest has been almost non-existent so far this year, with immigrants arriving in very small numbers and residents hardly numerous on the clear, cool nights that have been the rule in recent weeks. A couple of captures of minor interest just recently have been a Galium Carpet and a Vine Moth Eupoecilia ambiguella; the former is a common enough moth at Portland but this one may be the earliest we've ever recorded - it's certainly the earliest we've made an easily accessible note of (the previous earliest date was 6th May 1989) but our record-keeping with first dates is woefully inadequate and there are still many year's worth that haven't made the transition from notebook to database!; we're not quite sure of the status of the Vine Moth: until relatively recently it seemed to be just a scarce and irregular immigrant at Portland, but during the last few years we've begun catching them sufficiently frequently at the Grove that it looks like they've become established in that area © Martin Cade