23rd June

A very low-key day on the bird front with little more of interest than Manx Shearwaters on the move off the Bill: a few were trickling west through the morning, whilst a stronger eastbound movement of up to 200 per hour got going once the wind freshened during the afternoon.

With fresher conditions having set in moth numbers continued to dwindle but there were still hints of fresh immigrants arriving, with 2 Vestals and 2 Small Mottled Willows amongst the modest catch at the Obs and another Small Mottled Willow at Fortuneswell.

One of the more interesting events of this week has been the addition of Lunar Hornet Clearwing to the island moth list. We've already mentioned the discovery of the first adult that was found clinging to a mist-net in the Obs garden and further singles were found in the same circumstances both yesterday and this morning; it was pretty obvious that the species must be resident in the garden and it didn't take the ever enthusiastic Andy Dyball long to discover signs of larval feeding, an exited pupal case and finally another adult on at least three sallow trees there. The pencil-width pupal exit holes - several with scatterings of sawdust underneath - were quickly spotted up to about a metre off the ground, and it wasn't long before one was found with an exited pupal case at its entrance:

...two adults, with a pupal case just to the right of the lower insect:

...Andy photographing an adult on one of the trees photos © Martin Cade:

Also on the clearwing front, Six-belted Clearwings are now on the wing quite plentifully, this one came to a pheromone lure yesterday at Inmosthay © Ken Dolbear:

...and a bit of an oddity in the butterfly line, this aberrant female Silver-studded Blue was at Tout Quarry © Ken Dolbear: