7th July

Today started much the same way as most days for the past month, however, in true Portland summer fashion an unexpected arrival on the bird feeder brought some much needed variety to the daily fare. A Hawfinch that materialized onto the bird table in the garden was a great surprise as they are virtually unheard of on the island in July. A more frequent summer visitor, but an excellent addition to the day list none the less, was a fly-over Greenshank over Southwell. Other migrants included a selection of the regulars at sea and single figures of Sand Martins. The sea also provided a sighting of 11 Bottle-nosed Dolphins, the first time the local pod has breached our waters since the spring. 

This Hawfinch has managed to defy everything that BWP says about Hawfinch movements. Northern populations of female, juvenile birds are quoted as more likely to migrate post-breeding; this bird is an adult male. French birds are known to show dispersive feeding movements but this doesn't quite explain how a lone bird should turn up on Portland in July when there is evidence to suggest that even failed breeders maintain their pair bonds throughout the year...perhaps its just sneaking in a quick trip to the beach before the kids break up from school ©Duncan Walbridge:

A rather unusual showdown for the bird table feeding rights...©Duncan Walbridge:

The first Chalkhill Blues of the year are on the wing as well as good numbers of Marbled Whites ©Ken Dolbear: