31st August

A bright and increasingly warm day saw passage tick over without it ever getting very busy. The numbers at the Bill were again overhead, with a steady movement of Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits for the first couple of hours after dawn being replaced by a stronger passage of hirundines as the day wore on; on the ground Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler all came in with totals between 15 and 35, whilst 2 White Wagtails and the first Merlin of the autumn were the best of the rest. Better concentrations of several grounded migrants - including 15 Blackcaps, a species still largely missing at the Bill - were reported from the Avalanche Quarry area, whilst numbers also picked up conspicuously at Ferrybridge. The wind had shifted too far into the north-west for the seawatchers, with just 2 Balearic Shearwaters logged at the Bill.

White Wagtail - Portland Bill, 31st August 2014 © John Martin
...despite plenty of seemingly suitable north-westerlies White Wagtails have been absent until today when the first couple showed up in one of their most favoured spots on East Cliffs at the Bill.