5th June

Despite the seemingly promising-looking easterly wind and overcast skies of dawn bird interest dwindled away, with new arrivals on/overhead at the Bill limited to 7 Shelducks and singles of Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher, with another Spotted Flycatcher also overhead at Blacknor and 16 Sanderling through at Ferrybridge. Twelve Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua passed through on the sea at the Bill and there was an unusually high count of 5 Gannets in Portland Harbour.

Lepidoptera interest improved markedly, with a conspicuous arrival of Painted Lady butterflies and immigrant moths that looked to have been on the move along the western flank of a line of thunderstorms that stretched across the Channel to the east of Portland. Painted Ladys were thinly spread everywhere in numbers that must have been well into three figures over the island as a whole. Diamond-back Moths, including 23 at the Obs and 10 at St Peter's Church, made up the bulk of the immigrant numbers in the various moth-traps, but quality came in the form of a Striped Hawk-moth and 2 Small Mottled Willows at the Obs and another Small Mottled Willow at St Peter's Church.

Striped Hawk-moth - Portland Bill, 5th June 2015 © Martin Cade