3rd April

Although numbers were still less than impressive there was another small flurry of new arrivals around the island today. The south of the island got the best of the coverage with, much like yesterday, both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler getting to around the 50 mark at the Bill/Southwell; variety and numbers of other migrants were otherwise pitifully low - was there really just 1 Wheatear in the whole Bill area and surely more than just 1 Swallow passed though?! - with singles of Firecrest and Bullfinch the only oddities making the list; the Hume's Warbler at Thumb Lane and 1 or more Short-eared Owls at the Bill were also still about. What sounds as though it'll be just a brief switch in wind direction saw the day's southerly breeze prove to be a disappointment for the seawatchers: Chesil came up with 7 Shelducks and singles of Gadwall, Sanderling and Yellow-legged Gull, whilst 10 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Divers were all that could be mustered at the Bill.

A Brindled Beauty - the first record at the Obs - was the pick of the overnight moth catch; a single Dark Sword Grass was the only immigrant trapped at the Obs.

In the same way that we'd probably get very, very excited if a Marsh Tit showed up at the Bill, so it's nice to be able to get plenty of mileage out of something like a Brindled Beauty - seemingly a pretty common and widespread moth in southern England: today's specimen was the first ever recorded at the Obs and only the third for Portland (following singles at Weston in 2011 and Sweethill in 2015); three records in just six years would seem to hint at a burgeoning 'inland' population or the sudden development of a propensity to wander - or perhaps those factors are related © Martin Cade: