26th August

After steady rainfall through the night and a clearing up shower during the morning that wasn't far short of a biblical deluge it was no great surprise to find new arrivals thin on the ground once the clearance came. To our surprise though one of the first captures in the Obs mist-nets was a Western Bonelli's Warbler - seemingly the bird from last weekend surfacing again; having not been seen for three days (although the conditions have hardly been favourable for phylloscs showing themselves) it's clearly a pretty furtive bird and remained true to form by not showing again after release. Considering the paucity of newcomers (only 3 other birds were ringed all day at the Obs) it was also unexpected when a Wryneck showed up later in the day at the Higher Lighthouse. In a fresh south-westerly it was the sea that came up with the bulk of the numbers, with 55 Balearic Shearwaters, 19 Knot and 3 Arctic Skuas the pick of the day's passage off the Bill. Variety at Ferrybridge included 3 Knot, a Ruff and a Little Tern.

The paltry overnight catch of moths included no immigrants worth a mention.


Western Bonelli's Warbler and Knots - Portland Bill, 26th August 2015 © Martin Cade

Although we weren't sure whilst it was in the hand whether the Bonelli's was the same individual as last Saturday's bird, later online scrutiny of the photographs suggested that was the case. We heard today's bird call when we inadvertently flushed it into a net (and it also called again on release) so we were pretty certain that it was a Western even before examination of the wing structure, but features there provided strong support for that ID - the 2nd primary was clearly shorter than the 6th and the 6th was at least weakly emarginated: