18th October

Another day of variety rather than numbers. Despite a fair bit of rain in the late hours of the night there was no sign of any worthwhile increase in common migrants and it was left to the scarcities and lingerers to provide most of the day's interest: an extremely elusive Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Obs garden was thought most likely to be the individual of the day before yesterday although the views were sufficiently subliminal that it wasn't possible to establish whether it was ringed or not; the Rose-coloured Starling also became troublesome to catch up with, with just one sighting at Reap Lane all day, but the Black Guillemot off Portland Castle was more straightforward and showed for all comers. Less frequent migrants included 2 Merlins, 2 Short-eared Owls and a Firecrest at the Bill, where a Swift - thought to be a Common Swift - was reported at dusk and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and singles of Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater and Arctic Skua passed through on the sea.

Moth-wise, the night was a shocker with wind and rain halting most activity; 6 Rusty-dot Pearl were the only immigrants caught in the Obs traps.

Grey Wagtail consuming Common Darter dragonfly - Southwell, 18th October 2104 © Pete Saunders