28th April

An overnight switch to our least favourite wind direction - north-westerly - put the mockers on things today and it was much quieter everywhere. Wheatear and Willow Warbler were the only two common migrants that managed to get a fair way into double figures at the Bill, where the bitsy back-up list included ones and twos of Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Redstart and Pied Flycatcher; elsewhere, the Curlew Sandpiper remained at Ferrybridge, where 2 Sanderling and singles of Little Ringed Plover and Knot were amongst the growing wader tally, 3 Common Sandpipers were at Church Ope Cove and a Spotted Flycatcher pitched up at Avalanche Road. The lack of skuas in particular was the source of more anguish for the seawatchers - their tally at the Bill today was just 2 each of Arctic and Great Skua - but a total of approaching 1000 Manx Shearwaters through off the Bill did provide some small compensation.

Immigrant lepidoptera consisted of just 4 Dark Sword Grass in the Obs moth-traps and a handful of Painted Ladys at the Bill.

Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Knot and Small Blue - Portland Bill, Avalanche Road, Ferrybridge and Bottomcombe, 28th April 2015 © Martin King (Pied Fly), Roger Hewitt (Spot Fly), Martin Cade (Wheatear), Pete Saunders (Knot) and Ken Dolbear (Small Blue)

...sometimes we think it's a bit of a shame that we can't showcase Ken Dolbear's insect photos at a larger size/greater resolution than we post them at here - the detail on the originals really is outstanding and shows what's possible with a fair dollop of skill but a bare minimum of kit (a decent camera and lens of course - but all taken in the field, in natural light and with no tripod). Here's another of Ken's offerings - a mating pair of Green-veined Whites in the Obs garden - from a few days ago: