23rd July

Just a reminder, since we're going to be away and the blog mightn't be updated, that the next In Focus field event at the Obs takes place between 10am and 4pm next Tuesday, 28th July 2015.

After a relatively slow start to autumn passerine passage there were welcome signs of action today, with a very small flurry of new arrivals. The Bill area received the only coverage, with 12 Sand Martins, 6 Willow Warblers and singles of Wheatear and Sedge Warbler making the list; wader numbers were largely unchanged at Ferrybridge, where 77 Dunlin, 4 Sanderling and a Whimbrel were logged. Elsewhere, a Great Spotted Woodpecker that's evidently been visiting a garden at Easton for several weeks was today noticed to be ringed and is most likely the bird ringed at the Obs on 23rd June. Standard fare on the sea included 49 Manx Shearwaters, 45 Common Scoter, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Shelducks, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and an Arctic Skua.

The immigrant moth situation remained pretty dire, with singles of Olive-tree Pearl and Four-spotted Footman by far the highlights from the mundane variety and poor numbers in the Obs traps.

Comma, Painted Lady, Peacock and Red Admiral - Portland Bill, 23rd July 2015 © Ken Dolbear
...Ken's also sent us through a couple of photographs of aberrant butterflies he encountered yesterday at Bottomcombe. This Small Copper with blue marking on the hindwings appears to conform to the known aberration, caeruleopunctata:
...but in a quick check we couldn't find any reference to a named aberration of Ringlet in which there are only four spots (instead of the usual five) on the hindwing: