18th September

Perhaps surprisingly bearing in mind the beefy showers that passed through in the final hour of an otherwise clear night it was considerably quieter today. Totals of 70 Wheatears, 40 Blackcaps, 25 Whitethroats and 20 Whinchats made up the bulk of the numbers on the ground at the Bill, where the long-staying Wryneck was the only oddity to make the list. The sky was also unaccountably quiet, with only relatively low double figure totals of wagtails, pipits and Siskins amongst the trickle of hirundines moving through. With the breeze set firmly offshore a lone Balearic Shearwater was the only minor highlight off the Bill.

Another single Red-veined Darter was in the Crown Estate Field at the Bill.

Cooler conditions limited the overnight moth catch, with 2 Scarce Bordered Straw and singles of Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Delicate and Small Mottled Willow the best of the immigrants at the Obs.

Wryneck - Portland Bill, 18th September 2015 © Nick Stantiford
And a few more night - and morning - sounds from Nick Hopper. It might seem as though this is all old news by the time we get some of the highlights uploaded here, but it should maybe be remembered that, at least in a UK context, this is a pretty novel study that as it's evolved has thrown up as many queries and conundrums as it has revelations about what's passing over the Bill at night - the few recordings we post here are just the tip of the icebeg when it comes to the amount of work that's gone into getting to this stage. Nick reports that the pick of the captures on the night of 10th/11th September was another flock of Arctic Terns; otherwise, a rather samey selection included a flock of Redshank, 3 groups of Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Snipe, 3 Yellow Wagtails  and 5 Tree Pipits:

Overflying Yellow Wagtails (with alba wagtails in the clip that follows) were a constant feature after daybreak:

...whilst on the non-avian front a close Fox wasn't altogether unexpected: