31st May

On another day when the soaring temperature and blazing sun was made just a tad more tolerable by the strength of the brisk northeasterly it came as no surprise after recent events on the near Continent that a Rosy Starling would be today's headline bird; sadly, it retained far too much migratory urge and after a brief pause in the treetops at Culverwell it was on its way north, never to be seen again. Equally sadly, a putative Red-throated Pipit - a far higher value bird at Portland - narrowly escaped being clinched by its lone observer at Verne Common and couldn't be found again. A typical late spring selection of commoner migrants included singles of Whimbrel, Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler - along with a tardy Kestrel arriving in off the sea - at the Bill and 7 Sanderling and a Grey Plover at Ferrybridge.

Grey Plover - surely one of the very best of the Arctic waders © Pete Saunders:

We had a serendipitous little discovery last evening whilst meandering about at the top of the Grove cliffs listening for whatever eastern scarcities might have been singing in the woefully underwatched impenetrable scrub far below on Penn's Weare. In lovely still conditions a variety of routine micro-moths were on the wing and amongst these an unfamiliar Argyresthia suddenly flittered in and landed on a leaf right under our nose; without any collecting equipment to hand we had to resort to photographing it with the phone and later discovered it was a Cypress Tip Moth Argyresthia cupressella - seemingly the first record for Portland! Since this accidentally introduced North American species is spreading far and wide in Britain its appearance at Portland isn't a great surprise even if the circumstances of the discovery - presumably some hundreds of metres from the nearest ornamental cypresses - were a tad unexpected © Martin Cade