21st October

A very stormy day that came up with some of the hoped-for rewards on the sea. Chesil Cove was always going to be the favourite watch-point and plenty of coverage returned totals of at least 11 Great Skuas, 11 Arctic Skuas, 4 Leach's Petrels, 4 Manx Shearwaters and singles of Long-tailed Duck and Grey Phalarope; additionally, singles of Leach's Petrel, Storm Petrel, Arctic Skua and Arctic Tern passed through at Ferrybridge, a Leach's Petrel lingered for a short while in Portland Harbour and 2 Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and an Arctic Tern passed through off the Bill. There was precious little coverage of the land but a Wryneck was an unexpected newcomer in the Obs Quarry, several Firecrests were still about the Bill and singles of Merlin and Black Redstart also made the list there.

After yesterday's very disappointing moth-trap returns an even windier night last night appeared to offer no hope so it was quite a surprise when the immigrant haul at the Obs included 11 Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 Vestals and singles of Spanish Dot Antigastra catalaunalis, Pearly Underwing and Small Mottled Willow.

Although they rarely linger for long, Ferrybridge is often the best spot to get good views of petrels during late autumn storms and this morning both Leach's and Storm Petrel obliged © Pete Saunders:

This Arctic Tern also passed through there © Debby Saunders:

On the moth front we were very pleased to find in one of the Obs traps this morning another leggy catalaunalis which has always been a favourite of ours. When we trapped our first in the fantastic October immigration of 1995 it was a really crippling UK rarity but subsequently suffered a steep decline in grip value, mainly by virtue of a big influx in 2006 when every Tom, Dick and Harry trapped them all over southern England (we caught 11 at the Obs alone); another good arrival of them in recent days suggests they're going the way of so many other once high value rarities and are almost to be expected during episodes of late autumn immigration © Martin Cade: