23rd July

With an ever freshening breeze seeing to it that birds weren't especially easy to get amongst it was left to overhead passage and the sea to provide the best of the numbers today, with the likes of 100 Sand Martins through over the Bill certainly suggesting that better coverage might have been rewarding. Two Sedge Warblers and a Blackcap were new on the ground at the Bill, where the sea produced 50 Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Mallards, 5 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, a Teal and a Yellow-legged Gull.

Astro-photography seems to be a boom interest these days and one of our guests, Robert Harvey, has kindly sent us through a couple of lovely examples from his recent stay at the Obs © Robert Harvey Natural World Photography:

Such is the interest in them these days that we keep getting told off for not reporting frequently enough on the moth happenings - this hasn't been a conscious omission and most often there just hasn't been enough time available to get round to it. The recent hot weather has been great for moth dispersal, with a hatful of infrequently-recorded species logged around the island. One of last night's specials was the Sandhill Knot-horn Anerastia lotella which, as its name might imply, is resident in Dorset only in the sand dunes at Studland and Hengistbury Head; however, it must have some propensity to wander since we've now recorded it quite a few times over the years at the Obs © Martin Cade: