1st November

What did we do wrong today? With showers before dawn after an otherwise crystal-clear night there ought to have been at least a flurry of thrushes grounded at dawn, but in the event it was again desperately quiet everywhere with scarcely a highlight worth a mention amongst what little was grounded or on the move overhead; at the clutching at straws level a lone Black Redstart at Weston, 6 Bramblings, 2 Fieldfares and a Firecrest at the Bill and an Eider through on the sea there were about as good as it got from what amounted to some pretty comprehensive coverage of the bulk of the centre and south of the island.

After a couple of really chilly days the return of some brief mildness saw 4 butterfly species logged by day - including a helice Clouded Yellow above Church Ope Cove - and a decent selection of immigrant moths trapped overnight; the latter included an Olive-tree Pearl at Sweethill and 6 White-speck, 3 Delicate, 2 Vestal and a Radford's Flame Shoulder at the Obs.

Thanks to plenty of practise with a variety of crazily good-looking and often highly range-restricted owls around the world it didn't take Richard Newton long to last night spotlight us Portland's rather more mundane - but presumably one and only? - Tawny Owl; it had remained doggedly silent through the initial hours of the night but after 11pm it became quite vocal and was relatively easy to follow about the Wakeham/Pennsylvania Castle area - it's spotlighted here in the grounds of the latter © Martin Cade/Richard Newton:

In an autumn of pretty well across the board below average numbers Great Spotted Woodpecker has bucked the trend and continued its seemingly inexorable increase; this one pitched up in the Obs garden but they've become a familiar autumn/winter sight and sound throughout the island these days © Martin Cade:

An undreamt of sight not so long ago but something that'll likely become routine before long - Oak Rustic, Flame Brocade and Radford's Flame Shoulder from the Obs moth-traps this morning © Martin Cade: