14th June

The Obs car park and viewing terrace will re-open tomorrow. We'll be providing toilet facilities for visitors in the Annexe but please note that all the indoor facilities in the main building will remain closed for the time being. 

Overnight showers, thick cloud all the way to the horizon and a drop in the wind raised hopes for the day. New arrivals were soon uncovered, including 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler at the Bill and 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 9 Sandwich Terns, 4 Dunlin and 4 Sanderling at Ferryridge, but the best of the bunch - at least 2 Bee-eaters heard heading north over East Weare - came later once the sky cleared and proved to be frustratingly fleeting. The Rosy Starling was also still in residence although today it shunned the Bill and remained at Southwell. Five more Sandwich Terns, along with 2 Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua, passed through off the Bill.

Ferrybridge had plenty of activity this morning; Mediterranean Gulls © Pete Saunders...

...and Sanderling, Oystercatchers, Mallards and Sandwich Terns © Debby Saunders:

Regardless of the speculation about their initial origin, we've assumed for a year or more that Large Tortoiseshell butterflies must be breeding on the island: there were just too many being seen - and being seen in the same places for days on end - for them all to be primary immigrants. With elm being reported to be a favoured foodplant the woodland at Pennsylvania Castle/Church Ope Cove seemed like the best bet to host a colony and we pointed Will Langdon in that direction when he got in touch this week for tips as to where to look. Will succeded handsomely in his quest today with the discovery first of obvious signs of larval damage...

...and then, after some intrepid climbing, the finding of egg shells and a variety of spent larval skins; sadly, he was just a day or two late to find the larvae themselves that had presumably very recently pupated all photos © Will Langdon.