21st September

The beginnings of a change in the weather, as well as it now getting into the New Moon period, saw a big improvement in migrant numbers today. The humid and at times quite murky conditions of recent days were replaced overnight by fresher, clear conditions and it was quickly apparent that that there'd been a decent drop of birds at the Bill, where 400 Chiffchaffs, 150 Blackcaps and 80 Wheatears made up the bulk of the numbers; the varied back-up cast included the first 2 Yellow-browed Warblers of the season, a Ring Ouzel, yesterday's Wryneck lingering on and a light scatter of most of the other expected late September migrants. Visible passage was also very conspicuous, with more than 2000 Meadow Pipits prominent amongst the continual stream of hirundines, wagtails and pipits heading through into the brisk north-easterly. Other island areas were well searched, with a Turtle Dove at Perryfields, the Black Guillemot still in Portland Harbour and the 2 Little Stints at Ferrybridge of note amongst an otherwise more of the same tally. Serious seawatching was possible for the first time for a few days but the reward amounted to little more than a passing Great Skua off the Bill.

Despite it getting distinctly cool overnight there was a slightly improved showing of routine immigrants in the moth-traps, with a Hummingbird Hawk-moth and a Delicate at the Obs and another Delicate at Sweethill being the best of the scarcities.

Wryneck and Yellow-browed Warbler - Portland Bill © Tony Hovell (Wryneck) and Brett Spencer (Yellow-browed Warbler)
...and a short recording of a few calls from the Yellow-browed Warbler: