4th August

With the murky conditions of the last couple of days well and truly cleared away by the passing of the weakest of weather fronts clear skies were the order of both the night and the day. Migrants were afforded the opportunity to make onward progress and a fair number paused at least briefly at the Bill, where 100 Willow Warblers and 30 Sedge Warblers made up the bulk of the the totals accrued from woefully inadequate coverage; a Garden Warbler and a handful of Wheatears were also logged, with 10 Sanderling the best amongst the grounded wader selection at Ferrybridge. Overhead passage wasn't as conspicuous as might have been hoped: a Honey Buzzard over Easton was the stand-out highlight, with the few pulses of hirundines through at the Bill hardly amounting to a concerted passage. Sea movement was limited but did include 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Black-tailed Godwit through off the Bill.

The clearer, fresher conditions did no favours for overnight moth-trapping, with a lone Porter's Rustic - the third of the season and the 27th record for the island - the immigrant highlight at the Obs.

The vast majority of the day's little flurry of Willow Warblers were dazzling youngsters...

...but amongst them were a few - likely mostly adults - of more subdued saturation.

Adult Linnets are looking far from their best right now - this female was right in the middle of its post-breeding moult with its still unmoulted outer primaries showing all the signs of being a year old...

...in contrast, this year's juveniles are looking really dapper with their altogether more subtle body moult not taking its toll on their looks:

For whatever reason - was it the little bit of moisture in the air at times yesterday? - there was a good hatch of flying ants this evening that in turn attracted lots of gulls; around the top of the island large gulls were to the fore but along the Beach Road and at Ferrybridge many hundreds of Mediterranean Gulls - looking really spectacular against the clear, blue sky - made up the bulk of the feeding frenzy:

Despite being a rewarding season for a range of immigrant lepidoptera this summer hasn't been much cop for Clouded Yellows so it was nice to see two lingering beside the pathways in the Crown Estate Field this morning: 

Porter's Rustic is hardly one of the most inspiring scarcities and such is its anonymity that it's surprisingly easy to overlook in a busy moth-trap - we've done it ourselves! However, once seen/learnt it does have a look all to itself...

...here's today's specimen with a Small Rufous, one of the many other species that could be construed to bear some passing resemblance to Porter's Rustic photos © Martin Cade: