7th September

Despite there being a distinctly autumnal feel to the cool, very dewy dawn it soon warmed right up and in unbroken sunshine felt a lot more like high summer than early September. Dawn also revealed a real autumnal feel to the birding, with migrants aplenty everywhere, although under such clear skies many had filtered away after a few hours. After a gap of a couple of weeks since this autumn's first Wryneck another one or two at Suckthumb Quarry/Barleycrates Lane were welcome as well as really overdue given the now well-established easterly weather; one or more very mobile Ortolan Buntings also made the list at the Bill, but oddities otherwise didn't get better than singles of Little Ringed Plover, Knot and Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill, the autumn's first Ring Ouzel at Suckthumb Quarry and 2 Ruff and a Little Stint at Ferrybridge. Although hirundines were constantly on the move overhead and patches of cover were busy with the likes of Blackcaps, phylloscs and flycatchers, it was really the fields that provided the best of the day's migration watching, with the Bill area in particular jumping with totals that included 400 Wheatears, 250 Meadow Pipits, 150 Yellow Wagtails, 60 Whinchats and 25 Tree Pipits; pretty well everything else that might have been expected chipped in with lower totals. The sea again received little attention, with 2 passing Balearic Shearwaters the only birds of note off the Bill.
Moth numbers took a tumble on a clear, moonlit night; none of the commoner immigrants even managed a double figure total at the Obs, whilst the only scarcities logged were singles of Vestal at the Obs and Olive-tree Pearl at the Grove.


Knot, Little Stint, Sandwich Tern, Sedge Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear and Wryneck - Ferrybridge, Portland Bill, Southwell and Barelycrates Lane © Andy Collins (Knot), Pete Saunders (Little Stint, Sedge Warbler and Pied Flycatcher), Sandwich Tern (Matt Phipps) and Joe Stockwell (Wheatear and Wryneck)