5th June

Just as we were commenting on how similar today seemed to yesterday (the same wind, the same sunshine and the same empty nets), a Reed Warbler struck up its mid-morning song and there was hope renewed once more. Assuming that the bird hanging in the net was the afore mentioned Reed Warbler, it was a relaxed walk towards what turned out to be the seventh Blyth's Reed Warbler for Portland. With excitement levels high the scouring of the obs area began, however, the second highlight of the day was not to come for another eight hours when a calling Serin was seen flying north over Suckthumb Quarry. The rest of the day list left a lot to be desired with just singles of Redstart and Balearic Shearwater to see us through between the birds of the day.

Portland's seventh Blyth's Reed Warbler was an almost expected arrival what with so many having been reported around the country in the last fortnight; either mist-nets are a very effective way of sampling for them or our field skills don't run to much when it comes to this species - every single one of our records is of a bird first found in a mist-net. Today's individual was just about as good as they come, with its appearance and morphology seemingly perfect in every respect (...although we were a little disappointed that at some stage it didn't break into song) © Erin Taylor/Martin Cade

Puffins are being seen a little more frequently than usual just lately...

...whilst today's blustery conditions brought Manx Shearwaters within photographic range at the Bill © Pete Saunders

The first Marbled Whites of the year were on the wing at the Bill today; in the first few decades of recording by the Obs the first emergence dates were often not before early July but since the turn of the century there's been a rapid advance such that mid-June emergence became the norm and this is the second year in the last four when the first sighting has been logged in the first week of the month © Martin Cade: