11th June

The presence of the Great Spotted Cuckoo for so long has perhaps deflected attention from a general quality deficiency in a period that's got a pretty decent heritage for rarities, with today certainly not bucking that trend. The only obvious new arrival on the land was yet another Chiffchaff at the Obs, although the late-lingering Short-eared Owl did provide some further interest at the Bill. The sea wasn't a lot better, with 16 Common Scoter, 15 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull and a Sandwich Tern the best on offer off the Bill.

On the lepidoptera front the recent plague of Diamond-back Moths - with back-up influxes of Silver Y and Painted Lady - has maybe also masked the general paucity of other routine immigrants and dispersers, particularly with the conditions having looked pretty promising just lately. The overnight moth catch included Diamond-back Moth totals of 375 in one trap at the Grove, 323 in five traps at the Obs and 145 in one traps at Sweethill; a total of 4 more Orange Footman scattered amongst the traps were easily the best of the rest. By day there was a notable count of at least 200 Silver Y on the Slopes at the Bill.

Lulworth Skipper - Bottomcombe, 11th June 2016 © Ken Dolbear

...Ken tells us that this male - which is the first sighting we've heard of on the island this year - is the first he's recorded at Bottomcombe, which (mainly through Ken's dedicated fieldwork) is turning out to be real butterfly hotspot.