30th September

A relatively low key end to the month saw some decent passage overhead but not too much by way of numbers on the ground, with the best of the quality coming in the form of the putative Siberian Lesser Whitethroat lingering on at the Bill, an Osprey south there and a Jay (or two?) overhead both there and at Weston. Overhead it was very much a case of alba wagtails coming to the fore, with at least 600 through at the Bill, where Chaffinches also continued to increase (30 today), Skylarks featured for the first time (20), hirundines were more or less ubiquitous and 2 Merlins headed through. It was considerably quieter on the ground, where singles of Turtle Dove at Coombefield Quarry and Firecrest at the Bill were of note amongst the lowish numbers of routine migrants. The first Great Northern Diver of the autumn passed through off the Bill.

A Golden Twin-spot (the 4th Portland record) caught overnight at Sweethill was by far the highlight of an otherwise disappointing night for immigrant moths; also late news for yesterday from there of a Deep-brown Dart (also c4th island record).

Lesser Whitethroat - Portland Bill, 30th September 2014 © Martin Cade
 ...we won't bore readers with the full details of the confusing saga of this individual save to say that when retrapped today it turned out to be the individual first handled on 22nd September, and as such was a bird that we were already in the process of attempting to reconcile the in-hand features with what we eventually hope to learn from a feather sample. We're not quite sure why we've come in for online abuse regarding this bird when all we were trying to do was learn a bit more about the brownish-toned individuals that account for the vast majority of late LWT records at Portland, but the gist of it seems to be that according to some people they're so straightforward to do from field views that we may as well not be bothering.
For anyone who's interested in a bit more detail, here it is in the hand on 22nd September: