18th August

As has happened several times already this summer there was an almost biblical parting of the waters as a belt of heavy rain approached Portland overnight and the island escaped with little more a couple of brief showers - whether this had any bearing on there being fewer migrants grounded at dawn than had been anticipated remains to be seen. Both Wheatear and Willow Warbler just topped 30 at the Bill but there was nothing much more of note on the ground there than 2 Whinchats and singles of RedshankCommon Sandpiper, Grasshopper Warbler and Reed Warbler; Ferrybridge was busier, with 135 Ringed Plover, 125 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling and singles of Little Ringed Plover and Whimbrel the pick of the waders. After a customary selection of a few Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits, a Grey Heron and a Golden Plover had passed over the Bill in the early morning misty low cloud, the sky cleared and hirundines in particular got moving in some quantity; the best of the visible migrants though was an Osprey that headed south over Weston and the Bill before departing out to sea. The day's only seawatch report was of a single Balearic Shearwater through off the Bill.

The still, muggy and overcast conditions overnight saw a surge in immigrant moth numbers, with 133 Rusty-dot Pearl, 80 Diamond-back Moth, 19 Rush Veneer, 10 Silver Y and a single Dark Sword Grass logged in the Obs traps.





Osprey, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Painted Lady - Portland Bill, 18th August 2016 © Martin Cade (Osprey) and Ted Pressey (Gropper, SedgeW and Painted Lady)

...also one we forgot yesterday: thanks to Pete Saunders for a record shot of the flock of Ruff that passed through at Ferrybridge: