28th August

A little known weather phenomenon that means Portland experiences far less rain than the mainland saw many of the downpours heading our way disappear on the radar before our very eyes. This did not, however, help us on the birding front; with the bands of rain very likely blocking many migrants from moving this way. The excellent passage of pipits and wagtails from yesterday was sadly reduced to a trickle of just nine Tree Pipits, two Grey and 17 Yellow Wagtails, although as a bonus a Honey Buzzard somehow dodged the weather and was watched heading north over the centre of the island. Grounded migrants were few and far between with the gusting breeze making them even harder to detect: in the limited range of nets we were able to open singles of Reed and Willow Warbler were the only passage migrants trapped. The sea was equally disappointing with 11 Balearic Shearwaters and a two Arctic Skuas the only birds of note. Elsewhere on the island, Ferrybridge was busy once more with the returning Little Stint, two Knot and a single Little Tern amongst the usual fare.

Has there been a more difficult species to catch up with this year than Honey Buzzard? Today's bird was yet another that passed through in circumstances that would have suggested any number of other observers should have got on to it but somehow none did! © Martin Adlam Port and Wey