4th June

By dint of a lot of fieldwork there was eventually a pretty decent list to show for what on the face of it had looked to be a quiet day with few migrants in evidence in a fresh easterly and mainly fair conditions. The undoubted highlight was a Honey Buzzard that arrived in off the sea at Southwell during the afternoon and rapidly headed on north. A few Swifts, Swallows and House Martins were also still arriving but the tally on the ground didn't get much better than 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat and a Reed Warbler at the Bill, a Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell and 27 Sanderling and a Wheatear at Ferrybridge. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 67 Common Scoter, 50 Manx Shearwaters, 26 commic terns and singles of Great Northern Diver, Great Skua, Arctic Skua and Little Tern.

Honey Buzzard, Skylark and Spotted Flycatcher - Southwell and Ferrybridge, 4th June 2015 © Pete Saunders

And thanks to Ken Dolbear for a couple of photographs from yesterday of mating 22-spot Ladybirds in the Obs garden:

...Ken remarks that these photos (which are of two different pairs) illustrate the interesting issue of the colour of the pronotum in males at Portland. Evidently both sexes usually have an entirely bright lemon yellow background colour, but in Portland males the pronotum - as in both these individuals - is often white; Ken's never recorded an 'off-island' male with anything other than a yellow pronotum. It would be interesting to take this further and establish whether in fact all Portland males show this apparent discrepancy from the norm.