26th October

Despite an almost uniform absence of new arrivals of interest on the land the day did end up with a list that included a small selection of minor highlights. The long-stayers provided the backbone of quality, with the Yellow-browed Warbler lingering on at Avalanche Road and both the Black Guillemot off Portland Castle and the Black Brant at Ferrybridge looking settled for the duration; 2 Velvet Scoter that pitched in briefly at Ferrybridge were unexpected, whilst 7 Pale-bellied Brents and 2 Teal were also of note there. At the Bill the sea saved what would otherwise have been a pretty dire day, with 73 Common Scoter, 10 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Sooty Shearwater, Brent Goose, Great Skua and Pomarine Skua through; another Pomarine Skua passed through off Chesil Cove. Although the putative Siberian Chiffchaff (see below) turned up in a mist-net again at the Obs, the fact that a Pheasant - the first for a couple of years - was the highlight on the land at the Bill spoke volumes for the dearth of quality and quantity there.

Singles of Delicate and Scarce Bordered Straw at the Obs and another Delicate at the Grove were easily the best of an otherwise poor selection of immigrant moths from overnight trapping efforts.

Black Brant, Teal and Velvet Scoters - Ferrybridge, 26th October 2014 © Pete Saunders

And a couple of little recordings of interest from the day. The putative Siberian Chiffchaff first trapped three days ago turned up in a net again at the Obs; in the hand it at last uttered a few calls which, with the best will in the world, sounded absolutely nothing like a tristis - it'll be fascinating to see what a few feathers tell us about this one!:

...and something that at least sounded like it should do - whilst having a half-hearted look for yesterday's Lesser Whitethroat at Avalanche Road we were treated to a sudden burst of calling from the unseen Yellow-browed Warbler there: