18th October

Murky conditions and a diminishing easterly breeze were just the cocktail for a nice drop of new migrants, with plenty of action both on the deck and overhead. By way of oddities, the Red-breasted Flycatcher remained at Broadcroft, single Yellow-browed Warblers were at the Obs and Sweethill, Hawfinches included 2 singles over the Bill and another settled briefly at Broadcroft and an Avocet flew east over the Bill. It was the numbers that provided most of the entertainment though, with 250 Chiffchaffs, 75 Wheatears, 70 Goldcrests, at least 50 Firecrests, 50 Robins and 40 Blackcaps grounded at the Bill and 400 Chaffinches and 100 Redwings among the visible migrants that were mainly arriving in off the sea and leaving to the north there; everywhere else that got coverage came up with comparable numbers of these more numerous arrivals. Among the wide array of lower totals there were 7 Snipe, 6 Golden Plovers, 3 Grey Plovers, 3 Ring Ouzels and 2 Black Redstarts at the Bill, 6 more Black Redstarts scattered elsewhere and a Black-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge, whilst late-ish records included 7 Whinchats, 3 Redstarts and singles of Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat at the Bill and a Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell School.

An otherwise meagre catch of immigrant moths at the Obs was more than salvaged by the presence amongst them of the autumn's second Silver-striped Hawkmoth.

When Goldcrests are picking up prey of this size you can understand why they have to stay so constantly active © Martin King:

Yellow-browed Warblers may now be routine at this time of year but you still don't tire of them © Martin Cade:

We can't imagine there have been many occasions in the UK when it's been possible to take this snap of Death's-head Hawk and Silver-striped Hawk on the same hand © Martin Cade:

Since it's nearly possible to see from Portland the little quarry on St Alban's Head where the Two-barred Greenish Warbler is currently residing we'll use that as an excuse to post occasional Portland resident Tony Hovell's very nice photo of it from today © Tony Hovell: