14th August

On what's being reported to be probably the last day of the recent eastward-influenced heatwave the temperature soared to an unofficial (...this writer's car thermometer!) 30°C by the afternoon. With the moon still sizeable in the clear night sky grounded migrant numbers remained very low and, more surprisingly, diurnal visible passage was almost non-existent with the first Hobby of the autumn the only minor highlight. Offshore, Balearic Shearwaters disappeared from visible range but Lesser Black-backed Gull passage gained some momentum.

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 50, Willow Warbler 30, Sedge Warbler 10, Whinchat 3, Blackcap 2, Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Visible passage Swallow 25, Sand Martin 20, Swift 10, Ringed Plover 1, Tree Pipit 1.
Sea passage Mediterranean Gull 100etc, Black-headed Gull 100etc, Lesser Black-backed Gull 40s 30etc, Common Scoter 2e, Balearic Shearwater 1w, Common Gull 1w, Sandwich Tern 1w.

Pied Flycatcher 1.

Barleycrates Lane
Whinchat 1.

Dunlin 96, Ringed Plover 70, Sandwich Tern 5, Sanderling 3, Black-tailed Godwit 1, Knot 1, Redshank 1, Hobby 1s.

Selected immigrants Obs: Diamond-back 47, Rush Veneer 16, Rusty-dot Pearl 15, Dark Sword Grass 11, Silver 4, Spindle Knot-horn 3, Tree-lichen Beauty 2, Roseate Marble Celypha rosaceana 1, Peacock 1, Bordered Straw 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1. Grove: Jersey Mocha 1.

Amid the general doom and gloom about birds being fewer than they used to be Black-tailed Godwit is one thing that's logged far more frequently at Portland these days than it used to be. Our records have thus far all been of the Icelandic subspecies which is doing considerably better than the declining Continental subspecies © Pete Saunders:

In amongst the various rarer immigrants a moth we were really pleased to catch overnight at the Obs was this Peacock. Having only recently trapped plenty of Peacocks in northern France we'd been reminded just how blindingly obvious the genuine article is when we're used to seeing only Sharp-angled Peacocks at Portland. Peacock has a bit of a chequered history here with only one fully confirmed record for the island although there are probably one or two others that currently languish as collected specimens that haven't been revisited; oddly, at least one further specimen that had been 'confirmed' by several usually reliable consultees proved on dissection to be a Sharp-angled Peacock! © Martin Cade: