16th October

Still no great quantity of migrants but plenty of variety today. All three long-stayers - the Rose-coloured Starling, the Hooded Crow and the Black Guillemot - remained on station, with a miscellany of new arrival that included a Red-breasted Flycatcher that dropped in briefly at the Obs, 2 Ring Ouzels and singles of Jack Snipe, WoodlarkDartford Warbler, Firecrest and Lapland Bunting also at the Bill and Yellow-browed Warblers at Avalanche Road (2) and Wakeham. With very mild conditions once again the order of the day it probably shouldn't have been a surprise that several rather tardy summer migrants made the list, including 2 Reed Warblers and singles of Sand Martin, Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat at the Bill, and singles of Willow Warbler and Pied Flycatcher at Southwell.

Despite the overnight arrival of mild air there was no upturn in immigrant moth numbers, with 27 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Rush Veneer and Delicate constituting the tally at the Obs.

Red-breasted Flycatcher - Portland Bill, 16th October 2104 © Martin Cade
...this individual was a lot more vocal than last week's bird, with the plaintive 'creaky hinge' call given almost as often as the more familiar rattle:


Also today, as we were driving home in the evening we noticed what looked to be a summer-plumaged 'dark' Lesser Black-backed Gull settled with other gulls in the field below Culverwell; on stopping it was quickly apparent that the juvenile with it was also a pretty interesting-looking individual and there was just enough time to grab a few record shots before the whole flock flew off:

On reviewing the photographs this evening it looks like the adult hasn't even started its post-breeding moult which is presumably as good an indication as you're going to get that it's a Baltic Gull (and it does look quite like one in all other respects). Over the years we've seen and photographed quite a few juveniles that look more or less like this evening's individual so we'd be hesitant with suggesting this was also be a Baltic Gull, but since it looked as though the two birds were together and, plumage-wise, it looks to be OK then there must be a fair chance it is one (photos © Martin Cade)