Had a great morning around Portland and Weymouth yesterday morning. The birds were pretty scant, but some great insects and great weather not to mention catching up with friends, both new and old. I went back for second helpings of the Short-billed Dowitcher early doors; duly located it for those who had travelled down overnight. Nice views in the low light, but quite distant and often obscured. The sunrise was pretty spectacular; you can just make out the fog rolling down off the hills in to Weymouth Bay in the distance:
I headed back up to Portland at around 08:00 via a quick stop at Ferrybridge - plenty of Dunlin and Ringed Plover plus nine Med Gulls, but nothing more unusual. Unfortunately, fog had rolled in over the isle so I decided to go and chill out at the obs for an hour or so. Personal highlight was getting my grubby mits all over this Convolvulus Hawkmoth, very much reminding me of a sleepy week I spent at the obs in August 2005 with Stephen Menzie, Will Bowell and Kit Day when just about the only thing we saw of any note were a few of these crazy moths.
Otherwise, the night's catch was pretty unremarkable, although this L-album Wainscot was smart:
Martin also extracted a rather noisy female Sparrowhawk from the nets while I was there; this was the first time I'd seen the species in the hand.
With the weather clearing up somewhat, I decided to head up to Easton to look for the previous day's Monarch. Not too long after arrival, it floated up from nowhere before sitting atop a buddleia, warming itself up in the mid-morning sunshine. Eventually it began to play ball and I enjoyed some good views, even managing some decent video footage. Bit tatty at the wingtips but a spectacular species nevertheless.