25th September

Dawn offered up perfect migration conditions - crisp and clear in a gentle north-easterly - and four figure totals of Meadow Pipit and Swallow were racked up in very quick time; however, with the notable exception of yesterday's likely Monarch butterfly being fully confirmed and a typically out-of-the-blue Cetti's Warbler dropping into a mist-net the day otherwise proved to be a little bit of an anti-climax, with precious little grounded in any quantity. The Bill area Swallow and Meadow Pipit totals reached 5000 and 1000 respectively, with further reports of many thousands of the former from several sites around the north of the island. Most of the other mid-season visible migrants were well represented, with a new Great Spotted Woodpecker and an early-ish Mistle Thrush the best on offer at the Bill. Despite the benign conditions the sea came up with a few surprises including 72 Common Scoter, 4 Great Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas and the first Dark-bellied Brent Goose of the season through off the Bill.

A small influx of immigrant lepidoptera included 6 Clouded Yellows and an obvious increase in Red Admirals around the south of the island, along with the first White-speck of the season from the Obs moth-traps; the first Convolvulus Hawkmoth for over a week was also visiting Nicotiana flowers at the Grove after dark.

Yesterday's presumed Monarch was fully confirmed once it surfaced for a while in the Obs garden as the temperature started to creep up from an overnight single figure low; sadly it hardly looked to be thriving - quite apart from being very battered - and after a few seemingly weak flights and the odd bit of basking it vanished © Martin Cade:

Clouded Yellow was another of the 12 butterfly species logged today, whilst a White-speck was hopefully a sign of moth immigration picking up a little © Roger Hewitt (Clouded Yellow) and Martin Cade (White-speck):

Scarcities don't get much more random in their appearances at Portland than Cetti's Warbler that's less than annual and liable to pop up just about any time during both migration periods © Martin Cade/Erin Taylor:

More usually an October/November visitor to the Bill, Mistle Thrushes are infrequent enough to always arouse interest when they do appear; they're also a bird of which we have absolutely no inkling as to their origins or destination © Martin Cade: