4th September

A quite peculiar day with a nice flurry of scarcer migrants but very little in the way of more routine fare. After a drizzly, misty night there were high hopes that last evening's fleeting Hoopoe would show up again, which it duly did even if it was constantly skittish and mobile. An early morning Ortolan Bunting over the Slopes was a welcome sign that there were new arrivals to be found (the same or another was also later heard near Culverwell) and this proved to be the case when the first Wryneck of the autumn appeared in the Crown Estate Field, with it or another - together with a second individual - later showing up near Culverwell. It was commoner migrants that were the poor relation, with pretty dreadful numbers on the ground: the very light scatter at the Bill included little more of note than 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Redstarts and a Short-eared Owl. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 11 Common Scoter, 8 Balearic Shearwaters and 5 Arctic Skuas.

On a breezier night immigrant moth numbers dropped again, with 10 Rusty-dot Pearl, 6 Rush Veneer, 3 Scarce Bordered Straw, a Pearly Underwing and a Silver Y making up the tally at the Obs.

For most observers, the Hoopoe afforded only flight views...

...although it did keep returning to the Obs garden where more than once it dropped out of the trees to feed along the footpaths...

...whilst these sort of things are never guaranteed, there did seem to be an inevitability that it would eventually stray into a mist-net; maybe surprisingly, it's the first Hoopoe to be ringed at Portland since 1982 and only the fourth ever © Martin Cade:

The autumn's first Wryneck was amusingly frustrating: we'd loosely furled the Crown Estate Field nets for a few minutes when a rain shower passed through and on returning to re-open them flushed the bird from beside the path - inevitably it flew straight at a shut net and proceeded to perch on it in full view! © Martin Cade:

...later in the morning, the same or another individual posed rather more aesthetically a few hundred metres away near Culverwell © Bruce Park:

Disappointingly for its stalwart watchers, Ferrybridge has gone off the boil just at the moment: a Baird's Sandpiper would be very welcome indeed but a solitary Sanderling was as good as it got today © Debby Saunders:

In the few spells of sunshine today it was very warm and humid, with plenty of insect activity - including several Hummingbird Hawkmoths - around the buddleia bushes at the Obs © Martin King:

Wasp Spiders are about in some numbers now; this one at the Obs today had snared a Small Tortoiseshell as its latest victim © Martin King: