25th May

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 28th May.

A keen easterly breeze that finally died right away towards evening kept it feeling surprisingly cool for a sunny late May day. Bird-wise, the Great Spotted Cuckoo was more cooperative than in recent days and entertained all-comers for the best part of the day at Reap Lane. Some movement was still afoot on all fronts, with a Long-tailed Skua - along with 53 Common Scoter, 6 commic terns, 4 Sanderling, a Great Northern Diver and a Dunlin - through off the Bill the best of the day's crop. Visible passage continued, with Swifts featuring more conspicuously than of late amongst the pulses of Swallows and House Martins: the total of 50 through at the Bill wouldn't ordinarily be anything to shout about but reflects the dreadful numbers logged there so far this spring. There was nothing in quantity on the ground, but 11 Dunlin and 9 Sanderling at Ferrybridge and 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, and singles of Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and an extremely late Goldcrest at the Bill were all of note.

Gannet - Portland Bill, 25th May 2016 © Lorne Bissell

...a couple of images perfectly illustrating the hazards of marine litter for wildlife; this hapless Gannet was bobbing about quite close off Pulpit Rock this afternoon - we can only hope that it drifts into Chesil Cove and comes ashore where there'd be a chance it could be caught and the offending item removed.

And a couple of Obs garden butterflies from yesterday; Holly Blues look to be having a good year, with plenty flittering about the hedges at the moment (photo © Ken Dolbear):

..and Red Admiral numbers seem to have consolidated, with plenty around since they arrived earlier in the month (photo © Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot):