27th September

An enjoyably birdy day played out in still, muggy conditions and under an enticingly overcast sky; there was a feel all day of there being birds everywhere, with the trees busy with Chiffchaffs in particular, and the sky seemingly constantly full of Meadow Pipits and hirundines - autumn at its best. The south of the island got the best of the coverage, with highlights being a Barred Warbler in the Obs Quarry/hut fields area (we almost wonder if it could be the individual reported from the same area over a week ago), yesterday's Wryneck showing up again the Crown Estate Field (where it was trapped and ringed) and a Yellow-browed Warbler heard calling at Avalanche Road; elsewhere, the Black Guillemot remained in the Portland Harbour. The apparently random movements of the alba wagtails, pipits and hirundines overhead dominated the numbers, but on the ground it was Chiffchaffs that were most conspicuous, with 200 at the Bill alone; the build up of off-passage Linnets there got into the low hundreds, whilst the varied list of lower totals included pretty well everything that might be expected in late September.

The second Vagrant Twitcher Tebenna micalis of the autumn - like the first, at Sweethill - was the pick of the overnight moth catch; the limited number/variety of other immigrants included nothing better than single Delicates at the Obs and Avalanche Road.

Barred Warbler and Wryneck - Portland Bill, 27th September 2014 © Roger Hewitt (top Barred Warbler), Brett Spencer (lower Barred Warbler) and Martin Cade (Wryneck)