21st September

For the second time in the last few days pretty likely looking fall conditions didn't deliver, with the showers that passed by late in the night having little effect at all. Singles of Grasshopper Warbler and Firecrest at the Obs were welcome enough but about as good as it got on the land, where there were no more than tiny numbers of other grounded passerines; waders at Ferrybridge included 150 Ringed Plovers and a Grey Plover. With the wind freshening as a rain band passed through later in the morning sea interest picked up noticeably: 16 Common Scoter, 9 Balearic Shearwaters, 7 Arctic Skuas and a Sooty Shearwater passed through off the Bill, where there was also a visitor report of a passing Great Shearwater.

Immigrant moth activity remained at a fairly low level, with 4 Delicates and a Scarce Bordered Straw at the Obs, a Vestal at Sweethill and a White-speck at the Grove representing the best of the quality.

Yellow Wagtail - Portland Bill, 20th September 2015 © Roger Hewitt

Colour-ringed gulls haven't featured much of late, largely because we haven't come across any from unexpected locations; however, these two are worth a mention, as much because they were only a few yards apart in the field below Culverwell one day last week. Great Black-back 45N was from Le Havre, France, where it was ringed as a chick in June 2013; since being marked it has been sighted at Radipole Lake in October 2014 and was back at Le Havre in July this year:

Lesser Black-back B.VBA was from Orfordness, Suffolk, where it was ringed as a chick 18 years ago in July 1997 - it's sufficiently old that it's already on its second colour ring; apart from frequent breeding season sightings at or near Orfordness this bird has only been seen elsewhere during March and September 2008 when it was at Faro, Portugal (perhaps it winters further south in Africa?). Thanks to Gilles Le Guillou and Mike Marsh for these details.