15th October

A reminder that the next In Focus field event at the Obs takes place between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 17th October 2015.
 A rarity clear-out today with even Yellow-browed Warbler an absentee, but plenty enough in the way of typical mid-October fare to keep the visitors entertained. By far the most conspicuous event of the day was a constant trickle of thrushes heading through into the brisk north-easterly: Redwings dominated with 500 over one watchpoint at Southwell, and likely more than 750 through over the island as a whole; at least 11 Fieldfares and 3 Ring Ouzels were mingled in at the Bill, but although Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were also on the move their numbers were relatively low. This diurnal passage had been a continuation of overnight events, since we later learnt from Nick Hopper that his recording equipment had logged 236 Redwings, 162 Song Thrushes and singles of Blackbird, Fieldfare and Dunnock between 19.15 and 23.00 (as usual, these totals refer to loggings of single calls rather than a number of individuals). Short-eared Owls were also a feature with a minimum of 7 at the Bill, whilst at least 5 Firecrests, 2 Water Rails, a Merlin and a Dartford Warbler were additional oddities there. Grounded migrants included 60 Chiffchaffs, 30 Blackcaps and 15 Goldcrests at the Bill but, thrushes aside, overhead passage wasn't really on a par with most recent days and largely consisted of Swallows and a miscellany of finches.

Redwing, Fieldfare and Short-eared Owl - Portland Bill and Southwell, 15th October 2015  © Martin Cade (Redwing head), Pete Saunders (Redwing flying) and Joe Stockwell (Fieldfare and Short-eared Owl)