1st July

Despite the continuing heat and humidity July came in like a breath of fresh air on the birding front, with far more making the day-sheet than at anytime in June. The sea again came up with the best of the numbers, with 108 Manx Shearwaters, 52 Common Scoter, 16 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Arctic Skuas and singles of Curlew, Great Skua and Sandwich Tern through off the Bill, where 20 or more Common Terns continued to linger offshore; additionally, 8 Mallards headed north over Ferrybridge, where 2 Shelducks were also about. Passerines also featured, with a juvenile Siskin that pitched in at the Obs and a White Wagtail that dropped in on a garden pond at Southwell being by far the most unexpected of the day's sightings; yet another Chiffchaff was new at the Bill, the long-staying Blackcap was still there and 3 Sand Martins passed through, whilst elsewhere a Grey Wagtail passed over at Ferrybridge.

Immigrant/dispersing moths were not as conspicuous a feature as might have been expected, but singles of Red-necked Footman at the Grove and Wood Carpet at the Obs were notable island rarities, whilst the selection of second division fare included infrequent visitors such as several Cream-bordered Green Pea.



White Wagtail, Red-necked Footman, Wood Carpet, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Silver-studded Blue and Dingy Skipper - Southwell, The Grove, Portland Bill and Tout Quarry, 1st July 2015 © Nick Stantiford (White Wagtail), Sean Foote (Red-necked Footman), Martin Cade (Wood Carpet and C-b Green Pea) and Ken Dolbear (the butterflies)
...we hesitate to be 100% certain on the ID of the Wood Carpet as this is a species we've fallen foul of before, but this one does seem to be a pretty close match for a previous confirmed specimen as well as differing in several respects from the look-alike Common Carpets that are a bit of a feature of Portland.