11th August

cracking day, with a weather front straddled along the Channel holding up migrants and dropping a succession of new arrivals through the morning, before early afternoon saw the arrival overhead of first a Black Stork and then a Marsh Harrier. The arrival of the stork over the centre of the island - in the light of events elsewhere around the country in the last fortnight, an almost expected first occurrence for Portland - was announced by pandemonium amongst the local gulls, who shortly afterwards had a second cause for alarm when the harrier headed north over the Bill and Southwell. The Bill area was not fully censused, but gauged by numbers trapped at the Obs it looked likely there were a good 300 Willow Warblers through there during the morning; variety was otherwise quite limited but did include 30 Wheatears, 25 Sedge Warblers, 15 Robins, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and singles of Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Yellow-legged Gull, Garden Warbler, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher. Elsewhere, singles of Knot and Green Sandpiper were of note at Ferrybridge. At least 6 Balearic Shearwaters were again lingering off the Bill, where a lone Great Skua also passed by.

By and large, overnight moth-trapping was uneventful, with immigrant interest restricted to singles of Gem at Weston and Marbled Yellow Pearl and Dark Pine Knot-horn at West Grove Terrace.

Black Stork, Marsh Harrier, Knot, Willow Warbler and Wood Warbler - Weston, Southwell, Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 11th August 2015 © Duncan Walbridge (Black Stork top), Pete Saunders (Knot) and Martin Cade (all other photos)