19th September

We might be into the last few days of 'official' summer but you'd never believe it with the humidity sparking off thunderstorms in the Channel and the temperature up around 22°C on each of the last three afternoons; sadly, the quality of the birding also had a distinctly summery feel, with precious few of the migrants we ought to be recording deigning to make landfall again today. Visible passage stole the show over the north of the island at least, where one observer described the sky blackened with hirundines at one stage during morning; a sample 45 minute count nearby came up with totals that included 2300 Swallows, 800 House Martins and 425 Meadow Pipits. Events on the ground were far from matching this spectacle, with just the merest smattering of routine fare everywhere, and singles of Ruff, Little Stint and Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge the only slightly out of the ordinary sightings.

Three Clouded Yellows at the Bill were the first recorded there for a few days. There was considerable expectation for the moth-traps but in the event immigrants hardly featured, with singles of European Corn-borer at the Obs and the Grove, a Horse Chestnut at Sweethill and a Spindle Knot-horn Nephopterix angustella at Weston pretty much the best of a bad job.

Whinchat - Portland Bill, 19th September 2014 © Nick Hopper The Sound Approach