26th July

With a gentle breeze and a clear blue sky, it was an idyllic day to be wandering around the garden and Crown Estate Field. The birds have truly begun their journeys back south with the treetops full of lemon-coloured juvenile Willow Warblers and the brief glimpses of striped young Sedge Warblers in the crops. Overhead passage of Swallows and Sand Martins continued through the afternoon along with two southward-bound Yellow Wagtails. Waders have begun to put in more of a show with a single Whimbrel off the Bill and three Black-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge. 

The signs of autumn continued at Ferrybridge with three Black-tailed Godwits dropping in this afternoon ©Pete Saunders (in flight) and Debby Saunders (settled): 

Yesterday we touched briefly on what had been the best moth catch of the year to date. The Rose Plume was the stand out highlight but the supporting cast was numerous and varied, amongst which singles of Diamond-spot Pearl Loxostege sticticalis and Bordered Ermel Ethmia bipunctuella were of particular note; both are sporadic residents in parts of southern England but are no more than very infrequent immigrants at Portland © Martin Cade: