18th October

A day that had begun quite unpromisingly eventually returned a good haul of both the common and the not so frequent, with a very elusive Olive-backed Pipit in the Foundry Close/Easton Fire Station area providing the icing on the cake. Unusually for Portland, the numbers of routine migrants didn't come as a dawn fall but rather as a sudden flurry well into the morning, with the eventual totals of 100 Chiffchaffs and 60 Goldcrests garnered at the Bill representing only a sample of what looked to be a pretty decent island-wide arrival; whilst these smaller migrants were numerous, the likes of thrushes and finches didn't feature in such quantity and there were few other totals worth a mention. Amongst the less frequent migrants, Short-eared Owls again stole the show with very likely more about at the Bill than the minimum of 7 total that'll go in the log; another single was at Ferrybridge. The Suckthumb Red-backed Shrike also reappeared, whilst 3 Firecrests, 2 each of Merlin and Dartford Warbler, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker made the list at the Bill, 2 Firecrests and singles of Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel and Dartford Warbler were scattered about the Southwell/Suckthumb Quarry/Barleycrates Lane area and another Firecrest was at Foundry Close.

Red-backed Shrike and Short-eared Owl - Suckthumb Quarry and Southwell, 18th October 2015 © Roger Hewitt (Red-backed Shrike) and Pete Saunders (Short-eared Owl)