12th October

Not before time, today really did feel like October, with overcast skies, a waft of easterly and a distinct nip in the air. With mid-autumn fare pretty well all departed the likes of finches and Reed Buntings are really coming to the fore; that said, there remain some glaring omissions, with thrushes in particular hardly featuring at all just yet. Today's quality was provided by a new Yellow-browed Warbler at the Obs and the Rose-coloured Starling and Black Guillemot still on station at Reap Lane and Portland Castle; back up oddities included a distant harrier sp passing through off the Bill and yet another new Great Spotted Woodpecker trapped and ringed at the Obs. Although Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were again grounded in some quantity (250 each at the Bill) and there was a decent total of 30 Stonechats scattered around the south of the island, it was maybe not as busy as might have been hoped on the ground. Visible passage wasn't quite as conspicuous as it had been yesterday, but there was still plenty on the move, with Chaffinches featuring more strongly than they have done hitherto; 2 Tree Pipits and singles of Merlin, Golden Plover, Woodlark and Brambling (the latter a very belated first for the autumn). Seawatching at the Bill came up with 29 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Common Scoter, 19 Brent Geese and singles of Shoveler, Arctic Skua and Arctic Tern.

The moth-traps were a little quieter than yesterday but some limited immigrant interest was maintained, with the overnight catch at the Obs including 20 Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 Rush Veneer, 2 Delicate, 2 Silver Y, a Diamond-back Moth and a Dark Sword Grass.

Yellow-browed Warbler and Great Spotted Woodpecker - Portland Bill, 12th October 2014 © Martin Cade
...the Great Spotted Woodpecker was the sixth trapped and ringed at the Obs so far this autumn - the previous highest annual ringing total was just four.