19th June

An early morning Golden Oriole in song at Southwell was a nice start to the day but it was downhill all the way after that, with 3 Chiffchaffs, a Wheatear and a Blackcap at the Bill the only other worthwhile reports.

The island's second record of Poplar Kitten at the Obs was the pick of the overnight moth catch.

Also interesting news received this week from Professor Martin Collinson at the University of Aberdeen of a result from his genetic analysis of feathers from our female Subalpine Warbler of 23rd May. In the hand and on call all the indications were that it was a Western Subalpine Warbler but we were concerned that Moltoni's Warbler might still not be fully eliminated from the equation. Martin's analysis put that concern to bed since it found that: "its DNA sequence was identical to previously published Western haplotype H26 (sampled in France) and very different from any other subalp taxon". Many thanks to Martin for undertaking this analysis for us.

Finally, news of one of the odder ringing recoveries we've received in recent memory. At long last details have just come through on a Chiffchaff wearing a Helgoland ring that we 'controlled' in May 2014 (...just don't ask why this sort of news takes so long to filter through - the glacial pace of the notification process really isn't one of those wonders of the modern information technology age). Anyway, this was the bird and ring at our end on 5th May 2014:

...and it turns out that it was first ringed on Helgoland just over a fortnight beforehand on 19th April 2014. Quite why a Chiffchaff should have been off the coast of Germany in mid-April and then headed south-west for 800km to turn up at Portland in early May is rather beyond us and probably best not dwelt on.