25th September

Pretty blustery again today with a short-lived spell of heavy rain overnight introducing slightly fresher Atlantic conditions in place of the recent warm southerlies. Both the Wryneck at the Obs Quarry and the Rosy Starling at Haylands continued to entertain, whilst a Melodious (or Icterine - see below) Warbler was a nice find at Sheat Quarry at Southwell. Routine migrants certainly weren't conspicuous in the wind but sheltered spots did hold a scatter of Blackcaps, whilst singles of Merlin and Purple Sandpiper were of note over the Bill. Sea passage was almost non-existent, with 2 Balearic Shearwaters the only birds of note off the Bill.

Although it was far too windy overnight to have expected much in the way of moths there was evidence of a small arrival of new immigrants: totals from the Obs traps included 103 Rush Veneer, 10 Rusty-dot Pearl, 5 Diamond-back Moth and singles of Vagrant Piercer Cydia amplana, Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y; elsewhere, singles of Olive-tree Pearl at Weston and Clancy's Rustic at the Grove were of note.

We didn't ever get to see today's Hippolais warbler so our thoughts that follow are based entirely on the photos of it that we've been given. We're always disappointed at how little coverage Sheat Quarry gets - it's not the easiest place to work but it's nearly always nicely sheltered and it's got a good rare feel about it - so it was very nice to hear that Chris Patrick's perseverance there this morning had paid off with a Melodious Warbler; Chris's photo that followed didn't particularly ring any alarm bells, even if with hindsight it does look as though the apparent primary projection on the 'hidden' left wing does look to be alarmingly long © Chris Patrick

We didn't really give the bird any more thought until the afternoon when Simon Craft tweeted (and sent us though a slightly better resolution version) a long-range record shot of it that, at least on a phone screen, made it look well worth some more attention: although it again has an unhelpfully drooping right wing it seems as though the primary projection is very long and the primary tips are contrastingly pale © Simon Craft

A late afternoon look for it drew a blank so we weren't able to progress things any further until Paul Chandler passed us some more photos this evening. These again seem to show a long primary projection and, for example, quite contrasty tertials © Paul Chandler

Since the bird was presumably reasonably well seen by quite a few observers we hesitate to query the ID on the basis of these record shots alone - a lot of the contrasts could easily be camera or light effects - but we seem to be picking up a lot of pro-Icterine Warbler features here.