2nd October

It was about time a week of unrelenting easterlies bore fruit and today saw plenty of arrivals on the ground, a constant if unspectacular passage overhead and a nice selection of oddities. A very varied tally of scarcities included single Yellow-browed Warblers at the Obs and Perryfields, a Hoopoe in off the sea at the Bill, singles of Corncrake and Treecreeper at Suckthumb/Avalanche, a Dartford Warbler at Barleycrates Lane, a Marsh Harrier over Blacknor and the Bill and a Red Kite over Ferrybridge, whilst less frequent migrants included a wide scatter of at least 12 Firecrests, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Short-eared Owls and singles of Merlin, Hobby and Ring Ouzel. Commoner fare weren't to be outdone, with the centre and south of the island coming with minima of 150 Blackcaps, 100 Chiffchaffs, 50 each of Wheatear and Goldcrest, and 30 Stonechats; visible passage was relatively poorly covered but Meadow Pipits and hirundines in particular were trickling through in fair numbers throughout the morning.

At least 3 Red-veined Darters were scattered around the south of the island.

Immigrant moths were almost non-existent, with just singles of Rush Veneer and White-speck caught overnight at the Obs.

Dartford Warbler and Treecreeper - Barleycrates Lane and Avalanche Road, 2nd October 2015 © Nick Hopper (Dartford Warbler) and Chris Patrick (Treecreeper)
Apart from these two firsts for the year there were a hatful of other birds to get amongst today; thanks to Chris Patrick for this Sparrowhawk at Southwell:
...and to Kerry Beale for this Short-eared Owl at the Bill:

The Hoopoe arriving in off the sea would have made a great piece of video but sadly it was always miles too far away. We first spotted it several hundred metres off East Cliffs when attention was drawn to its presence by the mob of large gulls relentlessly chasing it as it made for land; they continued harrying it the whole way in and, since it couldn't be found after the melee disappeared from view somewhere on the Slopes, we wonder if they might have eventually caught it:
Finally, Ken Dolbear can always be relied on for some other wildlife: this Wasp Spider was at Church Ope Cove today:
...whilst this Spurgebug Dicranocephalus agilis - evidently only the third Portland record of this nationally scarce bug - was at the Obs earlier in the week: