30th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 9, Balearic Shearwater 1e, Common Scoter 9w, Redshank 1, Common Tern 30etc, Arctic Skua 1w, Mediterranean Gull 9, Black-headed Gull 1w, Chiffchaff 1.

29th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 10w, Common Scoter 16w, Arctic Skua 1e 2w, Mediterranean Gull 5etc, Black-headed Gull 1e.

With all the tern and other seabird horror stories emerging from elsewhere it's very pleasing to see that the Chesil Little Terns haven't suffered any disease issues and that the first of this year's crop of youngsters are now on the wing, albeit still very much dependent in their parents © Pete Saunders:

The young Peregrines at Southwell are now getting a lot more mobile © Pete Saunders

In view of their numbers earlier this summer it doesn't come as a surprise to hear that two Painted Lady larvae were discovered today on Spear Thistle at Kingbarrow Quarry - it may be that there are lots more of them to be found but our experience in previous good Painted Lady years has been that you find far fewer larvae than you imagine are going to be about © Andy Collins:

28th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater c200 mainly w, Balearic Shearwater 2e, Cory's Shearwater 1w, Common Scoter 5e, Arctic Skua 2e 5w, Mediterranean Gull 12etc, Sandwich Tern 2w, Common Tern c50etc.

27th June

Portland Bill 
Manx Shearwater c100etc, Balearic Shearwater 1etc, Common Scoter 6w, Arctic Skua 1w, Mediterranean Gull c25etc, Black-headed Gull 1w, Common Tern c100etc.

Little Ringed Plover 1, Dunlin 4, Whimbrel 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Sandwich Tern 2.

26th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 20w, Common Scoter 2w, Mediterranean Gull 10etc.

Whimbrel 1, Curlew 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, 

25th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 90w, Mediterranean Gull c50etc, Black-headed Gull 1w, Sandwich Tern 1w, Common Tern c40etc.

Dunlin 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Whimbrel 1.

Barely a month after they last graced the sandflats at Ferrybridge the first returning Whimbrel was back there today © Debby Saunders:

24th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 5, Mediterranean Gull c100etc, Blackcap 1.

23rd June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 10etc, Balearic Shearwater 1etc, Grey Heron 1n, Common Scoter 11w, Great Skua 1w, Arctic Skua 1etc, Mediterranean Gull 250etc, Black-headed Gull 2e, Swift 37n.

Bar-tailed Godwit 1.

A selection from Southwell and Ferrybridge - Peregrine, Common Tern and Bar-tailed Godwit © Pete Saunders:

22nd June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 6, Balearic Shearwater 1e, Common Scoter 3e 3w, Arctic Skua 1e, Mediterranean Gull 100etc, Black-headed Gull 1etc, Sand Martin 2s.

Sanderling 4, Sandwich Tern 3, Mediterranean Gull 214.

21st June

Portland Bill
Common Scoter 2e, Arctic Skua 1w, Mediterranean Gull 50etc.

Just at the moment our sad lack of seasonable rarities is being slightly compensated for by some good showings of local fledglings of interest, amongst which the Southwell Peregrines have been quite obliging © Debby Saunders:

20th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 5w, Grey Heron 1e, Common Scoter 1w, Curlew 2, Arctic Skua 1etc, Mediterranean Gull c30etc, Black-headed Gull 2s, Little Tern 1w, Common Tern 50etc.

19th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 10etc, Mediterranean Gull 20etc, Black-headed Gull 1w, Chiffchaff 1, Jay 1.

18th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 30etc, Great Skua 1w, Mediterranean Gull 70 etc, Chiffchaff 1.

Sanderling 3, Curlew 2, Mediterranean Gull 110.

Peregrines are now fledging from eyries around the island - this family are at Westcliff © Andy Mitchell:

And the Ferrybridge Little Terns now have plenty of young to feed © Pete Saunders:

17th June


A reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Sunday, 19th June.

Portland Bill
Common Scoter 1e, Reed Warbler 1.

Shelduck 1, Mediterranean Gull 50, Black-headed Gull 30, Sandwich Tern 2.

16th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 55, Common Scoter 22e 6w, Turnstone 1s, Mediterranean Gull 15etc, Sand Martin 1s, Reed Warbler 3, Chiffchaff 1.

Sandwich Tern 5, Wheatear 1.

15th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 2etc, Common Scoter 1e, Grey Heron 2n, Sparrowhawk 1, Mediterranean Gull 9etc, Nightingale 1, Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 3, Rosy Starling 1.

Just the sight of today's Rosy Starling zooming past the Obs patio at a rate of knots looking for all the world like it had just arrived in off the sea was more than enough to indicate it wasn't going to be last week's bird reappearing and that fact was quickly confirmed once it was pinned down in Top Fields: it was an altogether brighter, glossier bird...

                                            ...than last week's drab immature © Martin Cade:

Unexpected mid-June catch at the Obs: a Common Nightingale; a good brood patch evident in the hand so presumably a departing failed breeder pic.twitter.com/BNebjPFLfA

There's been no shortage of butterflies to get amongst during the last few days of unbroken sunshine, including plenty of Silver-studded Blues and Marbled Whites © Roy Norris:

14th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater 16, Common Scoter 7e, Mediterranean Gull 5etc, Swift 23, Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Yellowhammer 1.

13th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater c10etc, Balearic Shearwater 1w, Grey Heron 1s, Mediterranean Gull 4w, Black-headed Gull 2e, Blackcap 1, Willow Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 2, Spotted Flycatcher 1.

12th June

Portland Bill
Grey Heron 1, Common Scoter 3w, Black-headed Gull 2w, Sandwich Tern 1w, Swift 18n, Wheatear 1, Blackcap 1.

Hobby 1n.

11th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater c25etc, Common Scoter 5w, Arctic Skua 1e.

Grey Plover 1, Sanderling 4, Dunlin, 4, Turnstone 2.

The Arctic-breeding waders just keep coming, with this Grey Plover the pick of the bunch at Ferrybridge today; it seems almost inconceivable that these birds are actually going to get to the far north in time to breed but, since there seems to have been no break in the passage this spring we're presuming they are still heading in that direction - maybe the reality is that there's actually a mix of birds that have already failed, decided they're not going to bother or are too immature but are just going through the migration motions © Debby Saunders

10th June

Portland Bill
Hobby 1, Rosy Starling 1.

The Rosy Starling had presumably recent arrived at the Bill where it pitched in only briefly in between swirling around with Starlings...

...later however it showed up at Southwell where it was altogether more confiding © Martin Cade:

9th June

Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater c100etc, Balearic Shearwater 1w, Chiffchaff 1.

Sanderling 17, Dunlin 9, Turnstone 7.

Sanderlings and the Oystercatcher family at Ferrybridge this morning © Debby Saunders:

8th June

A diary date for Obs members: we're very pleased to announce that after two years of having to be held as a virtual meeting this year's AGM will take place as an in-person meeting at the Obs on Saturday 9th July; full details and an agenda are available HERE - copies of the minutes of last year's meeting and of the accounts for 2021 will be made available before the meeting.

Portland Bill 
Manx Shearwater c100, Common Scoter 4e, Turnstone 1.

Portland Harbour
Sanderling 14, Dunlin 12. 

Northbound waders continue to trickle through, with new Sanderlings, Dunlins and Turnstones still a daily feature around the shoreline of the island and passing Dunlin flocks still an almost nightly feature on our nocmig recordings at the Obs © Martin Cade:

7th June

Portland Bill
Cattle Egret 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.

Grey Plover 1.

In this era of egret excesses our rather forlorn-looking Cattle Egret this morning was of no great interest to anyone from away although for us it was a medium-value scarcity - the all-time island tally only got into double figures last year © Martin Cade:

6th June

Portland Bill 
Great Skua 1e, Reed Warbler 2.

Dunlin 15, Sanderling 7.

With action on the bird front very low key indeed there's plenty of time to dwell on other facets of the island's natural history; after this year's record breaking first emergence date, the main hatch of Lulworth Skippers is now well underway © Roy Norris:

5th June

4th June


3rd June


2nd June


1st June

We've spent a few recent nights renewing our acquaintance with our old friends the Storm Petrels at the Bill tip. The rewards have been pretty hard won since we've tried three times and still only trapped six (the first try last week was a flop since we were dense enough to have forgotten to charge the lure that promptly died on us just as soon as the first birds had shown up; this week's two attempts produced three apiece which is on a par with the catch rate in recent years - they're far less numerous these days than they used to be). However, with the help of the thermal imager we've had a lot of fun watching what they get up to; conventionally, we use the imager on the 'hot white' setting but the 'hot black' setting seems more appropriate for petrels at night even if it does give the entirely false impression that the action's taking place in some sort of semi-twilight which of course it isn't - it really is pitch dark down there in the early hours! © Martin Cade: