23rd September

Changes afoot on the weather front saw a lot more cloud in the sky and a brisk breeze blowing all day; sadly there was no perceivable uptick in the quality of the birding, with grounded common migrants - Blackcaps aside - stubbornly few and far between and visible passage much more subdued than in recent days. A few aggregations of Blackcaps around the centre and south of the island amounted to at least a three figure total that would no doubt have been considerably higher but for the lack of coverage elsewhere; little else even managed a double figure total, with a Firecrest at Thumb Lane easily the best quality-wise. Wader numbers continue to hold up quite well, with 91 Ringed Plovers, 5 Sanderling and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits amongst the mix at Ferrybridge. Visible passage amounted to no more than a light trickle of Swallows and Meadow Pipits.


22nd September

Since we've still not really been blighted this year with anything that might be deemed autumnal conditions it seems hardly appropriate to remark on the current glorious continuation of summer as in any way unexpected; however, it's certainly making for enjoyable birding even if the quality of the discoveries leaves plenty to be desired. Today's wall-to-wall blue sky was great for the likes of Meadow Pipits and hirundines to pass through in quantity but, once again, grounded arrivals were at a premium: 4 Short-eared Owls lingered on at the Bill but there was nothing remotely unexpected amongst the newcomers there or elsewhere. The balmy conditions were far from appropriate for seawatching so three Balearic Shearwaters, two each of Teal and Arctic Skua and the first Common Gull of the autumn through off the Bill were a bonus.

21st September

The routine of a bright, moonlit night and a blazingly hot, sunny day was maintained and grounded migrants remained in short supply. The usual mid-September suspects were all represented - mostly in low numbers - with little more of note at the Bill than 4 Short-eared Owls and singles of Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, White Wagtail and Firecrest; a Golden Plover at Ferrybridge was as good as it got elsewhere. Meadow Pipits were well represented overhead, with 1000 or so through at the Bill, but few other diurnal migrants contributed much to the tally. Balearic Shearwaters totalled 17 off the Bill, where the first Manx Shearwater for several weeks was also of interest.

20th September

Migrant-friendly conditions - good for migration that is, rather than good for anyone hoping to see many of them - continued to prevail and it remained relatively quiet on the ground. The autumn's first Firecrest was an on cue arrival at the Bill where the best of the rest included 3 Short-eared Owls and a Grasshopper Warbler. The crystal-clear sky was busier, with in excess of 1000 Meadow Pipits through over the Bill; variety was limited though, with hirundines in particular far fewer than might have been expected. Despite the seemingly unhelpful offshore breeze a waterfowl medley provided some interest off the Bill, where 15 Wigeon, two each of both Pale- and Dark-bellied Brent Goose and a lone Teal bolstered a list of more routine fare that included 14 Balearic Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua.

19th September

Migration continued to tick over in a largely uneventful manner, with a Cetti's Warbler at the Obs the day's only out of the ordinary arrival; the first Goldcrest of the autumn was at Southwell whilst the first four Dark-bellied Brent Geese of the season passed by off the Bill. Chiffchaffs made up the bulk of the numbers on the ground, with a good 70 at the Bill and plenty more elsewhere; Blackcaps are beginning to feature more prominently - including 30 at the Bill - but variety was rather limited on the ground where several of the maybe expected mid-autumn migrants were absentees. Despite predominantly clear skies overhead passage consisted of little more than a trickle of Meadow Pipits and hirundines, with singles of Little Egret over the Bill and Golden Plover over Southwell providing the only minor interest. At least 11 Balearic Shearwaters passed through or lingered off the Bill.


18th September

Very slow going again today with the forecast cloud cover coming to nothing. The clear sky and warm sunshine did prompt an almost constant stream of Swallows into departing, with sample counts suggesting a well into four figure total being involved. On the ground it was far quieter with a light scatter of Blackcaps making up the bulk of the numbers; the Obs Quarry Wryneck remained in situ but precious little else of note was uncovered. The Balearic Shearwaters offshore were largely becalmed and numbered up to 15 at times off the Bill.

17th September

 


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

All good things run their course and our mini migrant bonanza of the last couple of days resoundingly fizzled out today after a night of ideal migration conditions and a dawn that offered not a glimmer of hope that anything would drop in; oddly, even visible passage was something of nothing with precious few hirundines or Meadow Pipits overhead. The meagre assortment on the ground included 3 Grasshopper Warblers at the Bill but few of the commoner migrants managed double figure totals there and only the lingering Wryneck at the Obs Quarry provided scarcity interest. In an onshore breeze the sea was well-watched, with 6 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas offering some reward at the Bill.

This lonesome Whimbrel's been hanging around at the Bill for what seems like half the autumn - in flight it appears to have a bit of an issue with one of its wings but otherwise it looks to be OK © Geoff Orton:


Couple of hours at Portland this AM, few migrants today, good to see the Obs Quarry Wryneck again plus a few Yellow Wag, Wheatear and Whitethroat. Nice views of two common 'raptor' species at the bill; Sparrowhawk and Kestrel (not strictly a raptor). @PortlandBirdObs @OlympusUK pic.twitter.com/NpfAHgj9Rn

16th September

Another excellent day's birding today with more Honey Buzzards and Wrynecks, at least one Ortolan Bunting and plenty more common migrants, with the continuing glorious sunshine and warmth a more than welcome bonus. Single Honey Buzzards passed over the Bill, Southwell and Blacknor, a new Wryneck at Wallsend increased their tally to three, whilst Ortolans overhead at Weston and Southwell Business Park perhaps involved the same individual. It was maybe too much to hope that the conditions would have dropped anything like yesterday's numbers on the ground but that loss was more than compensated for by plenty on the move ahead, where both Swallow and Meadow Pipit reached four-figure totals at the Bill and the likes of Tree Pipit were well represented. There was still bags of variety on the ground but, for example, the Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler totals dropped back to 50 and 25 respectively at the Bill. Two Balearic Shearwaters provided some of the only interest on the sea.

Whilst hardly matching the probably once in a lifetime events of late September 2000, three Honey Buzzards over the island on one day - they were all juveniles - was something to get very excited about; this one passed over Southwell early in the afternoon © Pete Saunders:


The presumably new Wryneck at Wallsend © Roger Hewitt:


There might not have been lots of grounded migrants but there was plenty of variety if you went out looking, including several Whinchats © Pete Saunders and at least one Pied Flycatcher © Roger Hewitt:



15th September

A pretty ripping day saw the largest fall of migrants of the autumn to date that were enjoyed in lovely warmth and under an almost cloudless sky. Three Wrynecks - 2 at the Bill and another at Portland Castle - and a passing Honey Buzzard provided some scarcity interest but it was common migrants that stole the show. Chiffchaffs shot to the fore with more than 200 at the Bill, where other grounded totals of note included 120 Wheatears, 60 Willow Warblers, 30 each of Yellow Wagtail and Blackcap, 20 Whitethroats, 15 each of Tree Pipit and Sedge Warbler, 10 Whinchats, 8 each of Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (with another up-island), 2 Turtle Doves and singles of Whimbrel and Grasshopper Warbler. Given the conditions, overhead passage was maybe a little disappointing but still included 1000 Swallows, 700 Meadow Pipits, at least 2 Hobbies and a Siskin. The sea was the poor relation, with 100 Mediterranean Gulls lingering off the Bill but no more than 2 Balearic Shearwaters passing through there.

14th September

September's pretty well always the best month for variety at Portland and today's migrant miscellany was nothing if not varied. The weather too did its best to rise to the occasion, throwing in everything from rain at dawn to a still, bright and sultry afternoon. The second Common Rosefinch of the year, 2 Wrynecks and a Turtle Dove provided some nice scarcity interest at the Bill, where seasonalable commoner migrants were nearly all represented if far from plentiful; 4 Reed Warblers, 2 Snipe and a Purple Sandpiper on the land there, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua through on the sea and a Golden Plover at Ferrybridge were among the more interesting constituents.

Usually a rather maligned scarcity, we've always had a bit of a soft-spot for Common Rosefinch and there can be no denying that seen close-up youngsters like today's bird are rather nice, crisply-marked things - certainly a cut above the likes of the moulting juvenile Goldfinches and Linnets that are our staple in-hand finches right now © Martin Cade




Talking of neat, crisply-marked birds, there's not a lot wrong with a nice Golden Plover at this time of year © Debby Saunders:


And excuse us whilst we just tinker with ideas to jazz up the blog (...and make our life easier by not having to repeat everything umpteen times!) - in this case we were wondering about maybe embedding a few interesting Tweets from the day 

13th September

Just as it was looking like the promising conditions of dawn had failed to deliver so a surprise popped up in the form of a Glossy Ibis heading overhead at Easton - now recorded for three years in succession and with five records in total this seemingly rather unlikely visitor is becoming an almost expected occasional stray to the island. Commoner migrant weren't plentiful, with little evidence from the nocmig recorder of much on the move overnight - that no doubt accounted for the lack of arrivals at dawn - and with the sky remaining heavily overcast until well into the morning less than might be hoped by way of visible passage. Singles of Merlin, Snipe and White Wagtail were as interesting as it got amongst the thin spread of routine migrants at the Bill, where 3 Balearic Shearwaters also passed by on the sea.

12th September

Perfect conditions for birding and some good variety on offer around the island today. An fly-by Ortolan Bunting at Blacknor and 2 Wrynecks retrapped at the Bill (one of which has been in residence for a fortnight now) provided some seasonable quality, whilst a Quail flushed up in Top Fields was a surprise bonus; decent numbers of hirundines (including 1400 over Ferrybridge) and Grey Wagtails (including 45 over the Bill) were making full use of the clear sky and Wheatears again topped 100 on the ground at the Bill. Among a good spread of other expecteds 3 White Wagtails and singles of Merlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Grasshopper Warbler were of interest at the Bill, where 12 Balearic Shearwaters passed by on the sea.

11th September

A bright and breezy day saw a fair bit of passage overhead but, Wheatears aside, it wasn't busy on the ground. A total of 78 Grey Wagtails was notable over the Bill where 400 Swallows and a Merlin were the best of the rest. The Wheatear total there was a good 150 and likely quite a bit higher what with there being such a strong throughput of them at times; another 20 Sedge Warblers continued their strong showing but there were few other worthwhile totals amongst the fair spread of grounded arrivals. The sea was quiet with the exception of 14 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.

10th September

The heat of earlier in the week has gradually been replaced by more typically autumnal conditions, with today's fresh southwesterly and heavy cloud cover not particularly beneficial migrant-wise. A small flurry of newcomers at the Bill included another Wryneck trapped at the Obs; routine arrivals were still much as they were with little further signs of, for example, Meadow Pipit passage gathering momentum. The sea was again disappointing, with 6 Balearic Shearwaters and a passing Black-tailed Godwit the best from the Bill.

A few of yesterday's immigrant moths - Dark Crimson Underwing, Beautiful Marbleds, Vagrant China-mark and Latticed Heath © Martin Cade:




9th September

The recent drought broke quite spectacularly with belting rain before dawn that lingered a while into the morning. Hopes that this would have dropped some birds looked to have been fulfilled with the Obs garden fairly leaping with migrants once the clearance arrived; as often happens, it didn't take long before many of the arrivals filtered away but not before some half decent totals were accrued by the few fieldworkers making an effort. Spotted Flycatchers were particularly conspicuous, with a good 20 at the Bill alone, whilst Willow Warbler replaced Wheatear in top spot with 75 at the Bill and plenty more elsewhere; among the other worthwhile totals 15 Whinchats wasn't to be sniffed at these days. The only oddity uncovered was a lingering Wryneck retrapped at the Obs. With frequent reduced visibility and limited coverage the sea contributed less than might have been hoped in a freshening southwesterly but 3 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas were of note off the Bill.

Immigrant moths featured more conspicuously than of late with the rain that arrived across the Channel bringing with it a fair influx of routine species and a few rarities. Silver Ys and Rusty-dot Pearls made up the bulk of the numbers, including totals of 69 and 103 of the former at the Obs and the Grove respectively; a Vagrant China-mark D. ramburialis at the Obs was the best of the national rarities, whilst at a local level singles of Beautiful Marbled at the Obs and the Grove, a total of 6 Box-tree Moths, a Dark Crimson Underwing at the Grove and a Clay Triple-lines at Sweethill were of particular note.

8th September

A much quieter day than of late with the promised thundery rain amounting to no more than a 20 minute light shower at midday that arrived far too late to have any beneficial effect migrant-wise. Only one of the recent Wrynecks lingered at the Bill where grounded Wheatears and passing Swallows again provided all the numbers; a Mistle Thrush was a minor oddity there but for the most part common migrants were reduced to just low single figure totals. The sea didn't fare any better, with just 3 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.

The beginnings of overhead autumn passage of Grey Wagtails has been apparent for a while although numbers have so far been on the low side; this one was the first that's dropped onto a garden pond at Southwell - a pretty regular spot for them at this time of year © Nick Stantiford:

7th September

The continuing unseasonable heat was verging on getting uncomfortable at times today, with the ever-freshening easterly scarcely taking the edge off it; maybe as a result, the quality of the birding took a dip with far fewer grounded migrants than in recent days. At least two Wrynecks remained at the Bill but the best of the migrant interest was provided by a Honey Buzzard that lingered for a while at Verne Common. Aside from another good spread of Wheatears on the ground, a steady throughput of Swallows overhead and the beginnings of Meadow Pipit passage, routine migrant interest involved variety rather than numbers. The sea again had its moments, with 29 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill where visitors also reported several Black Terns and Little Gulls offshore.

The Bill Quarry Wryneck exhibition continued © Mike Trew:



6th September

Today's blisteringly hot and sunny conditions mightn't have been what would usually be considered propitious but they certainly came up with the goods, with Wrynecks again constant performers - at least 3 were at the Bill - a brief Ortolan Bunting at the Bill providing some better quality and another hatful of common migrants to sift through. Although Wheatears were still the most conspicuous of the commoner arrivals with at least 75 at the Bill alone, the make up of the day's tally was subtly different to recent days: Sedge Warblers totalled a good 40 at the Bill and at least 20 Swifts were overhead at Weston (both good totals for September), whilst Blackcaps in particular are beginning to come to the fore in the thicker cover.

The very showy Wryneck beside the Bill lighthouse continued to be very showy © Martin Cade: (video) and Roy Norris (still):



One of the many Wheatears at the Bill © Martin King

5th September

Another very birdy day with the Wryneck tally increasing to 6 and plenty of routine fare to get amongst everywhere. The Wrynecks aside, an Osprey off West Cliffs was the only other oddity reported and there were no real stand out migrant totals but the fact that the likes of Redstart, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher all got well into double figures was indication enough of how much there was about. Yesterday's Little Gull was still at Ferrybridge but the sea had quietened off, with 16 Balearic Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua the best on offer at the Bill.

Although breezy, murky mornings have been the rule in recent day the afternoons have been beautifully still, warm and sunny - perfect conditions for Spotted Flycatchers to show off in the Obs garden © Martin King:


4th September

The new moon period, a clear night sky and murky low cloud not too far out in the Channel at dawn were just the ingredients required to fulfil a recipe for a migrant feast to end our recent relative famine - what was dished up was if not a banquet then certainly a tasty starter for the business end of autumn that looks to be unfolding. Four Wrynecks were constant crowd-pleasers at the Bill where a departing Honey Buzzard was another welcome sight; migrant-wise, 150 each of Wheatear and Willow Warbler saw to it that both the open country and patches of cover were very birdy, with the likes of 50 Yellow Wagtails, 25 Sedge Warblers, 10 Redstarts, 6 Tree Pipits, 5 Whinchats, 4 each of Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, 3 each of White WagtailLesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler and singles of Merlin, Snipe, Purple Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, Grasshopper Warbler and Chaffinch ensuring that the day list was padded as well as might be hoped in early September. For those able to tear themselves away from the land seawatching bolstered the list still further, with 103 Balearic Shearwaters and singles of Wigeon, Great Skua and Arctic Skua logged through the morning. Elsewhere, Ferrybridge chipped in with singles of Osprey and Little Gull along with the usual wader variety.

A day with migrants everywhere you looked - Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Wheatear © Martin Cade and Spotted Flycatcher © Martin King:




3rd September

Wryneck-lovers had a bit of a field day today with three singles dotted about at the Bill to get amongst. Sadly, the increasingly glorious balmy conditions that replaced the breeze and gloom of recent days didn't see a wealth of other migrants emerge, with the relatively meagre spread at the Bill including little better than singles of Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper and Grasshopper Warbler amongst the routine fare. Ferrybridge hosted better numbers, with 8 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Grey Plover of interest. Another little surge of Balearic Shearwaters accounted for the bulk of the numbers offshore, with 135 through off the Bill; a Great Northern Diver and an Arctic Skua also passed by there.

 One of the Wrynecks doing what they do and doing it where they always seem to do it in the Obs Quarry © Martin Cade:

2nd September

An adult Rosy Starling at Osprey Quay was a surprise and welcome newcomer today and had no competition as bird of the day. The Wryneck did remain at the Obs Quarry but was sufficiently elusive as to only be reported once all day; common migrant action was also hard to come by with birds either thin on the ground or keeping their heads down in the continuing stiff northeasterly. Both Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears increased a little to 50 apiece at the Bill but the autumn's first Short-eared Owl and a passing Hobby were the best of a rather limited rest there. The sea had a few rewards, with the 29 Balearic Shearwaters logged from a few random watches dotted through the day suggesting that they might have racked up a fair total with better coverage; 8 Teal were also of note off the Bill.

This fine specimen bathing in a garden pond at Southwell is one of several Sparrowhawks doing the rounds of the south of the island in recent days © Nick Stantiford:


1st September

With dreary skies and a brisk northeasterly the order of the day birding was hard work but 2 Wrynecks - one retrapped at the Obs and a new, unringed, bird in the Obs Quarry - provided some seasonable interest for the few fieldworkers braving the autumnal chill. Numbers were far from a feature, with the likes of Yellow Wagtail reduced to just a single figure total at the Bill, but variety there included 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whinchats and singles of Redstart, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Pied Flycatcher, with a new Grey Plover adding to the wader interest at Ferrybridge. Eleven Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Teal and an Arctic Skua represented the best from the sea at the Bill.

31st August

August closed out much as it had plodded along throughout with a perfectly respectable spread of common migrants but, with the notable exception of the second Wryneck in as many days, little to excite; that the first third of the autumn is now behind us was evidenced by the lack of even a single Sedge Warbler making the day-tally for the first time this month, whilst passing Wigeon (4 off the Bill) hinted at what's to come. The day's Wryneck - like yesterday's - turned up unannounced in a mist-net at the Obs, whilst the day's migrant totals for the wider Bill area included the likes of 60 Wheatears, 8 Tree Pipits, 8 Spotted Flycatchers, 7 Whinchats and 4 Whimbrel with Ferrybridge helping the variety with 7 Sanderling, a Knot, a Little Stint and a Snipe amongst others. The sea also perked up, with 54 Balearic Shearwaters, a steady flow of Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Arctic Skuas through off the Bill.

30th August

With the notable exception of a Wryneck that obliged by turning up in a mist-net in the Obs garden today's migrant happenings remained on a par with recent days. Wheatears conspicuously increased, with around 100 at the Bill alone but, if anything, there was an overall dip in numbers that saw Yellow Wagtails fall well short of a three figure tally at the Bill, where most other seasonable fare was reduced to single figure totals. Ferrybridge continued to chip in with respectable totals of Ringed Plover and Dunlin but 2 each of Sanderling, Knot and Redshank were as good as it got for less frequent visitors. Sandwich and Common Terns were again lingering off the Bill in above average numbers but a lone Balearic Shearwater provided the only quality.

There's nothing like an in-hand Wryneck to please the visitors © Martin Cade:


29th August

It's beginning to seem like a stir-up in the weather won't do any harm, with samey conditions producing a samey selection of migrants again today. A passing Osprey over Weston and the first Merlin of the autumn at the Bill were noteworthy, but apart from small arrival of Pied Flycatchers - including at least 7 at the Bill - the migrant situation remained at the level of a fair spread of Yellow and White Wagtails, Wheatears, Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers and routine waders and warblers on the ground and a Hobby and a few Tree Pipits and hirundines overhead. A small resurgence in Balearic Shearwaters saw 22 logged at the Bill, where 2 Arctic and a Great Skua also passed by.

A selection of the day's migrant action: Merlin, Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail © Joe Stockwell and godwit duo and Sandwich Terns © Pete Saunders:





28th August

The crystal-clear, breezy dawn didn't look too promising and so it came to pass, with yesterday's Wryneck - still very elusive in the Crown Estate Field - the highlight and little beyond expected fare in modest numbers as back-up. A fair spread of the likes of Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears was evident everywhere, with the odd Tree Pipits, Whinchats, Lesser Whitethroats, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and other expected arrivals livening things up here and there; a Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill and 6 Knot and 2 Little Stints at Ferrybridge constituted the best of the slightly less regulars. Sea interest has dwindled, with 50 Black-headed Gulls through off the Bill as good as it got by way of passage.

27th August

A little more interest on the migrant front today with an overdue first Wryneck of the season the best of the arrivals at the Bill; a Marsh Harrier also left to the south from the Bill, 2 Little Stints were new in at Ferrybridge and flurry of Crossbills saw 7 head overhead at High Angle Battery and 5 arrive at the Bill. Numbers and variety were otherwise much as yesterday, with 2 Greenshanks, a Redshank and a Snipe at the Bill of note amongst the seasonable spread everywhere.

One of the two Little Stints that were on cue arrivals at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:


Even without the migrants there's always a nice array of local residents to get amongst © Roy Norris:

26th August

Strive as we might it proved impossible to break through a ceiling of mediocrity today, with even the assistance of heavily overcast skies throughout the morning and the continuing northeasterly breeze failing to provide us with any of seasonable scarcities that had seemed so on the cards at dawn. That blanket dismissal of the day was of course entirely unfair to the pretty respectable spread of routine mid-autumn migrants that were uncovered and amounted to, for example, 150 Wheatears, 100 Yellow Wagtails, 20 Spotted Flycatchers and 10 Pied Flycatchers dotted about the centre and south of the island. At that level and below everything that might have been expected put in appearances but a list of oddities that started and stopped at a single Hobby over the Bill was lean enough to leave the feeling that we'd been short-changed. The sea was barely any better, with 3 Arctic Skuas and an early Great Northern Diver through off the Bill hardly constituting a watch to remember.

25th August

Rarity highlights have been at a bit of a premium this year so a White-winged Black Tern that flew through at Ferrybridge into the teeth of this morning's brisk easterly was a very welcome little event. With conditions again not at all conducive to a fall of migrants most of the day's numbers were overhead or on the sea and included 150 Yellow Wagtails over the Bill, 350 Swallows and 80 Sand Martins through over Ferrybridge and 55 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill; on the ground 5 Reed Warblers at the Bill was a good autumn total but little else posted a significant tally there or elsewhere. The Melodious Warbler from a couple of days ago made a reappearance at the Obs after escaping detection all day yesterday, whilst the miscellany of lesser frequent migrants included an Osprey south off West Cliffs, 2 Knot at Ferrybridge with singles of Hobby and Teal overhead there, and 2 Arctic Skuas and singles of Little Egret, Great Skua and Arctic Tern through off the Bill.

The White-winged Black Tern was the island's sixth record but the first since 1999 - Ferrybridge and the Bill are now neck and neck at three apiece. Since it literally flew straight through it was a sharp spot by Graham Bright and it was fortuitous that Pete and Debby were on station to capture what we think are the first photographs taken of any of the Portland White-winged Blacks © Pete Saunders (top two) and Debby Saunders (bottom):




This morning's Hobby and Knots at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:



This Porter's Rustic is an addition to yesterday's immigrant moth tally at the Obs. We'd already done the traps and passed the tub containing the contents of the eight traps we'd operated to Marcus Lawson to have a sift through; fortunately, Marcus was more attentive than we were and spotted the Porter's Rustic that we'd very ineptly managed to overlook - slotting in examining eight traps between net-rounds and everything else on the go here clearly isn't an ideal scenario for spotting something as anonymous-looking as a Porter's Rustic tucked away deep in an egg tray! © Marcus Lawson:

24th August

After a surprisingly cool and breezy start today quickly saw a resounding return of summer as the breeze quickly dropped out and the temperature shot up in the blazing sunshine that was the order of the rest of the day. Pleasant as they were, these weren't conditions for quantities of grounded migrants although variety wasn't too bad, with 70 Yellow Wagtails, 30 Tree Pipits, 15 Whinchats and 4 each of Spotted and Pied Flycatcher amongst the mix around the south of the island. Yesterday's offshore Balearic-fest wasn't repeated, with not a single one logged at the Bill, where a steady trickle of commic and Sandwich Terns, and a lone Great Skua were the best on offer. Singles of Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit featured amongst the waders at Ferrybridge.

The Obs moth-traps were extremely busy with resident fare, with 22 Rush Veneers - their highest total of the season to date - 3 Vagrant Piercers and singles of Brown China-mark, Olive-tree Pearl, Barred Hook-tip and Jersey Mocha constituting the best of the immigrants and dispersers; elsewhere, the first Scarce Bordered Straw of the year was trapped at Weston.

Variety's on the up as we head into the the last week of August with the likes of Pied Flycatchers finally showing up in numbers, Wheatears beginning to get conspicuous everywhere © Roy Norris:



...Ferrybridge always boosts the day-lists as well with a selection of waders not so easy to see elsewhere; Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit were good list-fillers there today © Roy Norris:



None of the hook-tips are resident at Portland and Barred - a beech-feeder - is a far less than annual visitor to the Obs moth-traps © Martin Cade: