22nd August

Portland's fall from grace today was as rapid as it's elevation to stardom had been yesterday, with a surprise no-show by the Yellow Warbler coming as a huge disappointment to a host of travelling birders. Despite an overnight switch to easterlies (that we later discovered had been instrumental in delivering the first nocturnal Ortolan Bunting of the season) there were remarkably few compensations evident that might have eased the pain of the dip, with nothing of quality amongst the thin spread of migrants at the Bill: Willow Warblers increased to 50, but 10 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Tree Pipits and singles of Redshank, Redstart, Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher were about as good as it got. Seawatching came up with reports of small numbers of Balearic Shearwaters lingering offshore all day, together with 21 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas and some very promising-looking gatherings of hundreds of gulls attracted to bait fish shoals. The only other reports were of 89 Dunlin, 20 Dunlin and 2 Brent Geese at Ferrybridge.

Overnight mothing was pretty uneventful with a single White-speck at Cheyne Weare the only worthwhile immigrant.

The Ortolan that called just once an hour or so after dusk was the highlight of Nick Hopper's overnight sound recording session: