31st October

A shift in wind direction toward the east saw another major pulse of Goldcrests move through the island today, with some pretty extensive coverage suggesting the round-island total would have comfortably exceeded 500. The first wave through at the Bill at dawn was accompanied by a Pallas's Warbler that was trapped and ringed at the Obs; it lingered for a little while and later in the day what was presumably the same ringed individual popped up again at the Craft Centre. Goldcrest was overwhelmingly the most abundant of the grounded arrivals - constituting, for example, two-thirds of the day's ringing total at the Obs, whilst thrushes in particular remained conspicuous absentees everywhere; the scarcer migrant list was much as in recent days, with 14 Black Redstarts, 12 Firecrests, 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 each of Woodlark, Dartford Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler, and singles of Moorhen, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Continental Coal Tit and Corn Bunting garnered from the island as a whole. Under largely clear skies it was a surprise that visible passage was so fitful, with a seemingly representative sample 70 minute count on West Cliffs at the Bill coming up with 136 Wood Pigeons, 89 Starlings, 83 Linnets, 76 Goldfinches, 49 alba wagtails, 22 Meadow Pipits, 16 Chaffinches, 12 Skylarks, 3 Bramblings, 2 each of Siskin and Reed Bunting, and a single Song Thrush.

The overnight immigrant moth tally at the Obs consisted of 15 Rusty-dot Pearl, 8 Rush Veneer, 6 Silver Y and singles of Vestal, Dark Sword Grass, Delicate, Small Mottled Willow and Scarce Bordered Straw.

Pallas's Warbler, Black Redstart, Continental Coal Tit, Yellow-browed Warbler and Moorhen - Portland Bill, Southwell, Easton and Portland Castle, 31st October 2015 © Martin Cade (Pallas's W) and Chris Patrick (all other photos)