13th May

We're beginning to get keen on Friday the 13ths: back in the dim and distant past the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler was a Friday the 13th bird and today this supposedly inauspicious date struck again with the island's very long overdue first Great Spotted Cuckoo; although initially seen and identified at Wallsend at the Bill, it was then realised that the bird had been the source of distinctive but unidentified calls heard not long before on the bottom end of the Slopes; after attracting a first flurry of viewers at the Bill the bird became more mobile and moved to Reap Lane where it settled and remained for the rest of the day. In an at first quite brisk north-easterly there were a scatter of other new arrivals in evidence around the centre and south of the island: Chiffchaffs and Spotted Flycatchers were the most numerous at the Bill, reaching 20 and 10 respectively, but amongst a fairly varied back-up list 7 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Siskins, 2 White Wagtails, a Knot, a Pied Flycatcher, a fly-by Serin and a Yellowhammer were of note at the Bill and a Hobby passed through at Blacknor. Odds and ends of interest on the sea included 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and an Arctic Skua through off the Bill and a Black Tern through off Chesil.

Immigrant moth interest included 10 Diamond-back Moth, 5 Silver Y, a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Small China-mark caught overnight at the Obs.

Great Spotted Cuckoo - Portland Bill and Reap Lane, 13th May 2016 © Keith Pritchard settled upper, Duncan Walbridge settled lower, Mark Eggleton flight upper, Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot flight lower and Martin Cade video