13th April

With cloud cover not materialising until after dawn there was no repeat of yesterday's fall of migrants but there was welcome compensation in the form of a Western Subalpine Warbler that showed up on West Cliffs near the Higher Light. Depleted migrant numbers at the Bill included 50 each of Wheatear and Willow Warbler, 25 Blackcaps, 4 Redstarts, 3 Whimbrel, 2 each of White Wagtail and Tree Pipit and singles of Golden Plover, Short-eared Owl, Yellow Wagtail and Corn Bunting, with a Red-legged Partridge providing some extra novelty interest; elsewhere there was a Grasshopper Warbler at Southwell. The only reports from the sea were of 3 Red-throated Divers and a Great Skua through off the Bill.

Singles of Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y were the only immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs.

Although largely typically furtive the Western Subalpine Warbler showed quite well from time to time © Martin Cade:

Hardly in the same league but quite possibly rarer at Portland than the Subalpine Warbler, this Red-legged Partridge surprised us when it scuttled out at point blank range from under the bushes that the warbler first flew into - just the latest oddball in a long line of recent dodgy gamebird escapes/releases around the island! © Martin Cade:

Oil Beetles seem to be a vogue group at the moment and until recently we hadn't realised any of the species occurred at Portland (...they're probably perfectly well known here but none of the regular visitors to the Obs 'do' beetles). Emma Cockburn first mentioned she'd discovered what she believes are Black Oil Beetles at the Grove and more recently Ken Dolbear stumbled across the same species at Penn's Weare © Ken Dolbear (upper still) and Emma Cockburn (lower still and video):