15th September

An extraordinarily hot and humid day for mid-September, with a drop of rain either side of dawn and a waft of a north-easterly proving to be just the recipe for dropping a succession of new arrivals. Early doors, routine fare featured most prominently, with 150 Wheatears, 100 mixed phylloscs (Chiffchaffs now very much to the fore) and the first Goldcrest of the season heading quickly through at the Bill where the usual hirundines, pipits and wagtails were plentiful overhead; amongst the selection of less regulars there 10 Grey Plovers, 5 Grey Herons, 4 White Wagtails, a Green Sandpiper and a Turtle Dove were noteworthy. Typically, the best of the oddities there - a Red-breasted Flycatcher trapped and ringed at the Obs - arrived just as passage was fizzling out. Given the scorching conditions it was no surprise that a selection of raptors featured, with a 'new' Common Buzzard, a Hen Harrier and a Marsh Harrier at the Bill and an Osprey over Weston. As the Bill quietened off the middle of the island got considerably busier: at least 3 Wrynecks showed up/resurfaced between Coombefield Quarry and Barleycrates Lane, whilst migrant totals in the area included at least 30 Spotted Flycatchers and 6 Redstarts. There was too much happening elsewhere for the sea to get much attention but 4 Wigeon and a Pintail were of interest off the Bill.

The overnight moth catch was somewhat depleted in the semi-daylight of a nearly full moon; the immigrant tally at the Obs consisted of 28 Rusty-dot Pearl, 19 Rush Veneer, 9 Silver Y, 3 Vestal, 2 Diamond-back Moth and singles of White-speck and Scarce Bordered Straw.

In the early days of the Obs September - and even late August - Red-breasted Flys were not infrequent, but latterly October has been the more usual month of autumn occurrence © Duncan Walbridge

The day's raptors included this rather striking - and certainly 'non-local '- juvenile Common Buzzard © Martin Cade

...and this quite early but not so cooperative Hen Harrier © Martin Cade