21st July

Plenty more of the same on a very birdably pleasant sort of day. A Serin at the Bill was the day's highlight, with commoner migrant totals there that included c250 Sand Martins, 64 Swallows, 58 Swifts, 4 House Martins and singles of Grey Heron and Yellow Wagtail leaving to the south, 3 Dunlin, 3 Redshanks and singles of Whimbrel and Turnstone randomly overhead or through over the sea, and 3 Willow Warblers and a Sedge Warbler grounded. The wader tally elsewhere was also varied and included 56 Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, 6 Redshanks and a Whimbrel at Ferrybridge. The sea was also still worth attention, with 22 Common Scoters, 19 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua through off the Bill.

The Serin was bombing about overhead all morning but wasn't ever seen to settle © Martin Cade...

...and a little recording of it making one of its many overflies of the Obs when the parabolic picked it up a good deal quicker than the human ear:

The moth-traps have been ticking over all week with oddities up to the level of the likes of Dark Crimson Underwing and Striped Hawkmoth but for us the week's highlight came last night in the form of a Dark Umber - the first record from the Obs traps and only the second record for the island as a whole following one trapped by Julian Clarke somewhere up towards the Grove on 4th July 1984. The larval foodplants of Dark Umber are Buckthorn and Alder Buckthorn, both of which are apparently absent from Portland so although the moth's relatively widespread albeit not at all common in the rest of Dorset it's unlikely to ever be more than a very occasional stray to the island © Martin Cade: