9th October

Another thoroughly enjoyable day to be bumbling around the island, with a good spread of routine migrants to be enjoyed in very benign conditions. A rash of Yellow-browed Warbler sightings, with singles reported from 5 sites, provided entertainment around the middle of the island, whilst 5 Bearded Tits that dropped in at the Crown Estate Field maybe weren't too unexpected given the recent news of them erupting in numbers from the Weymouth reedbeds. These oddities aside, it was really a numbers day, with a band of rain and heavy cloud lingering to the west of the island at dawn probably helping to drop more birds than might have been expected in otherwise clear weather. At the Bill, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails featured strongly and numbered into the hundreds each, whilst other counts of note on the ground included 75 Chiffchaffs, 35 Goldcrests and 30 Dunnocks; as usual Blackcaps figured well around the middle of the island, where there was a minimum of a three figure total between Southwell and Weston. Swallows, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and a variety of finches again accounted for the bulk of overhead passage but numbers were relatively mundane.

After being thin on the ground for some while there was a conspicuous arrival of Painted Lady butterflies at the Bill during the afternoon, with more than a dozen in the Obs/Crown Estate Field area.

Immigrant moth interest was restricted to a total of 4 Delicates amongst lowish numbers of commoner fare in the various moth-traps.

Bearded Tits - Portland Bill, 9th October 2015 © Martin Cade
And hot on the heels of yesterday's report on nocturnal passage, Nick Hopper has just sent us through news of the other two nights of his last visit. A software glitch restricted coverage on 2nd/3rd October to just a three hour spell when 9 Robins, 3 Song Thrushes, a Skylark and a Black-headed Gull were logged. The equipment was back up and running on 3rd/4th which was fortuitous as it was a much busier night: the best captures were another Water Rail, a Ring Ouzel and three groups of Golden Plovers; Song Thrush calls were up to 88, whilst the 13 Robin calls were all logged in the first hour so were perhaps most likely migrants departing from nearby; another Black-headed Gull, a Common Sandpiper and a Yellow Wagtail were the best of the rest that have so far been conclusively identified.