14th September

A glorious day that started off with a light breeze but abated to a flat calm evening was perfect for the first big passage day of September. An early morning vis-mig session that produced 1650 Meadow Pipits, a Hobby and a handful of wagtails was a foretaste of things to come. As a stream of Grey, Yellow, Pied, alba and White Wagtails joined the throng of Meadow (and the occasional Tree) Pipits it made for a truly spectacular days birding. Although that elusive mega never manifested the long-staying Lapland Bunting and Wryneck were joined by a Turtle Dove at Reap Lane and a brilliantly found Ortolan Bunting in the Top Fields. The background cast of the day included a Firecrest at the Obs, a Redstart in the Privet Hedge and a Tree Sparrow over the Crown Estate Field as well as a selection of common Phylloscs and Sylvias.

With birding for so many participants these days having become little more than trainspotting - a constant dash from one already perfectly well documented scarcity to the next - there's much to admire in Steve Hunting's almost Forrest Gump-like resolve to cover Portland as comprehensively as he can whenever he visits. Steve's reward today - long after the Wryneck and Lapland Bunting listers had scooted off to Lodmoor and Farlington without a thought for whatever else might be waiting to be found on the island - was this Ortolan in Top Fields. Maybe finding things for yourself isn't considered a big deal these days but that strikes us as pretty sad... © Steve Hunting (still) & Martin Cade (video):

The highlights from a reasonably quiet day at Ferrybridge included 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Knot © Debby Saunders (flight shot) & Pete Saunders (mixed feeding flock):