17th December

The quiet, mild conditions of recent days continued and the Avalanche Road Hume's Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff attracted a steady trickle of weekend watchers. Tardy new arrivals are still showing up, with a Blackcap at the Obs, a Siskin over Avalanche Road and a scatter of Redwings of note today; an unseasonable movement of 104 Black-headed Gulls past the Bill was also of interest. Winter fare included 8 Purple Sandpipers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill, 8 Linnets at Avalanche Road, 3 Goldcrests at Foundry Close 3 Eider in Portland Harbour and a Black Redstart on the harbour shore at Hamm Beach.

The odd few immigrant moths were still showing up, with a Gem at the Obs, a Pearly Underwing at Weston and 2 Rusty-dot Pearl at the Grove making up the various trap totals; another December Moth was also at the Grove, where Cypress Carpet and Beaded Chestnut were additions to the unusually long list of resident species trapped around the island in recent nights.

Whilst lacking the extravagant quality of last year's pre-Christmas bonanza, this year's December moth immigration has certainly been worth keeping the traps on for; a Gem at the Obs was an addition to the species tally last night:

...this seemingly unfamiliar beetle (found on the outside of a lit window at the Obs) was also of interest. We don't 'do' coleoptera in any systematic way but it seems from a quick literature search that it might be Oedemera femoralis, which is apparently one of the false blister beetles; one distribution map that we found suggests that the species might even be new for Portland which would be a bit of a turn up: