25th September

A day that didn't disappoint, with damp, murky conditions overnight dropping a decent selection of new arrivals throughout the island. The Greenish Warbler remained at Obs and drew a steady trickle of admirers who were also able to get amongst some of at least 4 Yellow-browed Warblers (1 at the Obs/Crown Estate Field, at least 1 at the Eight Kings Quarry and 2 at Thumb Lane); a Common Rosefinch at Inmosthay Quarry was trickier and couldn't be found again after its initial discovery, whilst a Great White Egret over Thumb Lane - easily the Portland rarity highlight of the day! - was similarly unobliging. On the ground, Chiffchaffs were very conspicuous everywhere, including a good 200 at the Bill alone, whilst most of the other expected commoner migrants were about in small numbers. Overhead passage was at times very strong, with the first substantial movement of Linnets an addition to the hirundines and Meadow Pipits that have dominated for some time. Less regular migrants included 3 Pied Flycatchers at the Bill, a Merlin and a Firecrest at the Bill and 2 Little Stints at Ferrybridge, whilst a late Swift was of note over the Bill.

In perfect overnight trapping conditions there was a conspicuous increase in immigrant moths, with 47 Delicates, 37 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Rush Veneer, Olive-tree Pearl, Gem, Pearly Underwing, Dark Sword Grass, Deep-brown Dart, Scarce Bordered Straw and Gold Spot making up the totals at the Obs; surprisingly, the notable arrival of Delicates was not reflected elsewhere, with just singles logged in garden traps at Reap Lane and the Grove.

Although we think of Greenish Warbler as an almost expected annual oddity these days - there have been four at the Obs in just the last two years - there hasn't actually been a truly twitchable bird in Dorset since way back in the 1980s so there was plenty of interest in one that remained for more than one day © Martin King (the bird upper photo and the viewers) and Martin Cade (the bird lower photo): 

The first in-hand Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn attracted an appreciative audience © Martin Cade (the bird) and Martin King (the viewers): 

As a bonus for visitors the Bottle-nosed Dolphins remained off the Bill for a fourth day and were at times showing really nicely © Martin King:

The moth trays were awash with Delicates this morning; 47 is the highest count at the Obs for several years although it's still well short of the all-time record that we think is 88 on 26th September 2006 © Martin Cade: