2nd November

With migrants audible in good quantity again overnight - when a Moorhen was the oddest of the birds heard over the Obs - it was disappointing to find the Obs garden considerably quieter at dawn than has been the case in recent days; thick fog was a blight everywhere - and remained so up-island at least for the best part of the morning - and looked to have restricted the number of birds dropping in (...perhaps they just kept moving above it?). At the Bill/Southwell Goldcrest numbers dropped to well below 50, and with the exception of a few thrushes including 25 Redwings and 7 Fieldfares most routine migrants were thin on the ground; oddities there included 4 Firecrests and singles of Yellow-legged Gull, Short-eared Owl, Black Redstart and Dartford Warbler, as well as a late Yellow Wagtail. In a brisk easterly 2 Brent Geese and a Shoveler through off the Bill represented a pretty poor return for the seawatchers.

Although immigrant moth numbers were rather low there was some interest in the form of singles of Cosmopolitan and Scarce Bordered Straw at the Obs, Delicate and Scarce Bordered Straw at Sweethill, and Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Vestal at the Grove.

Yellow-legged Gull, Chiffchaff and Cosmopolitan - Portland Bill, 2nd November 2015 © Martin Cade

...the Yellow-legged Gull was slightly odd in a couple of respects but we're not well up enough on the intricacies of gull hybrids and the like to know whether either of those issues are significant.

The Chiffchaff, with its anaemic plumage and strong wing-bar, looked especially arresting when we first clapped eyes on it lurking in some dingy bramble bushes; although its calls were at times quite odd for an 'ordinary' Chiffchaff they didn't bear any resemblance to typical Siberian Chiffchaff calls so we wouldn't like to guess where this specimen hailed from. Unfortunately we didn't have any proper recording equipment with us so we got nothing better on the calls than this brief phone recording:

And to end with another call, here's an 'out of the office window' recording of the migrating Moorhen that flew over the Obs yesterday evening: