31st August

They may get all the hype but when was the last time a stiff easterly actually did us much good? Another pretty abject showing today despite a good deal more fieldwork than we've grown accustomed to so far this autumn. To be fair, with no change in the conditions no great change was expected in the parlous migrant situation but just the smallest morsel of quality out of all the legwork would have been nice.

For good reason, the scavengers are gathering around a once great migration watchpoint now reduced to ornithological penury...

Portland Bill
Migrants Swallow 200n, Wheatear 45, Yellow Wagtail 15, Willow Warbler 10, Tree Pipit 6, Whinchat 5, Yellow-legged Gull 3, Redstart 2, with singles including Lesser Whitethroat and Goldcrest.
Sea passage Black-headed Gull 15, Balearic Shearwater 9, Common Scoter 9, Teal 1

Pied Flycatcher 3.

Knot 2, Curlew Sandpiper 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 40, Rush Veneer 30,  Pearly Underwing 5, Turnip 3, Dark Sword Grass 2, Silver Y 2, Diamond-back 1, European Corn-borer 1, Bordered Straw 1.

We've got a bit of a backlog of spot the differences photos from the last couple of weeks so to start with here are a couple of male Redstarts; this is an adult male - a bird born before this year...

...and here's a first-year male - a bird born this summer © Martin Cade:

30th August

Still way too windy and clear to start with although things did quieten down appreciably by evening by which time it had become very warm and humid. The migrant situation remained uninspiring although another pulse of Balearic Shearwaters - is this just the same flock swilling around offshore? - perked things up on the sea.

Portland Bill
Migrants Swallow 100e, Wheatear 45, Yellow Wagtail 30, Willow Warbler 15, Tree Pipit 4, Whinchat 3, Blackcap 2, Pied Flycatcher 2, with singles including Golden Plover, Greenshank and Goldcrest.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 256e, Common Scoter 3e, Whimbrel 2e, Sandwich Tern 2e, Arctic Skua 1e, 

Ringed Plover 156, Dunlin 90, Sanderling 4, Knot 1, Curlew Sandpiper 1. 

Selected immigrants: Obs: Rush Veneer 41, Rusty-dot Pearl, 26, Turnip 11, Pearly Underwing 7, European Corn-borer 2, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Dark Sword Grass 1, Delicate 1. Southwell: Vestal 1. Weston: Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1.

A minute in the life of a Curlew Sandpiper © Martin Cade:

29th August

We're hoping that today marked some sort of autumn migration nadir but, looking at the weather forecast for the next few days, you wouldn't bank on it. The combination of a stiff northeasterly and mainly clear skies saw some visible migrants get on the move, including the first Osprey of the autumn, but grounded arrivals were only very thinly spread. 

Portland Bill
Migrants Swallow 600e, Wheatear 50, Yellow Wagtail 12, Willow Warbler 10, Whinchat 3, with singles including Osprey 1n, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and Goldcrest
Sea passage Lesser Black-backed Gull 14s, Balearic Shearwater 11e 1w, Common Scoter 2e, Arctic Skua 1.

Bar-tailed Godwit 2, Sanderling 1, Knot 1, Common Sandpiper 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 86, Rusty-dot Pearl 42, Pearly Underwing 11, Turnip 5, Dark Sword Grass 2, Delicate 2, Bordered Straw 2, Silver Y 2, European Corn-borer 1, Small Marbled 1.

28th August

A day that just ticked along largely underwhelmingly, with no shows from any of the scarcer migrants that were thought good possibilities given the freshening northeasterly.

Portland Bill
Migrants Yellow Wagtail 70, Wheatear 20, Willow Warbler 12, Whinchat 9, Tree Pipit 6, Ringed Plover 5, Grey Wagtail 4, Blackcap 4, Dunlin 2, Sedge Warbler 2, with singles including Grey Heron, Marsh Harrier 1s,  Purple Sandpiper, Grasshopper Warbler and Pied Flycatcher.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 6w 2e, Sandwich Tern 6w, Great Skua 1w, Arctic Skua 1w.

Thumb Lane
Pied Flycatcher 1.

Sanderling 7, Knot 2, Bar-tailed Godwit 2.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 97, Rusty-dot Pearl 90, Pearly Underwing 10, Turnip 6, European Corn-borer 2, Delicate 2, Silver Y 2, Olive-tree Pearl 1, Wax Moth 1, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1. Weston: Small Marbled 1. Broadcroft: Beautiful Marbled 1.

Immigrant moth numbers have been pretty good in recent nights even if it seems likely that a lot of individuals are now the home-bred progeny of earlier arrivals. For us, there's actually been more interest from the odds and ends of wanderers/dispersers that have been making it out to the Bill; Frosted Orange will no doubt be familiar to most people from the mainland but for us this pretty moth is a far less than annual visitor to Portland...

...White-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila latistria is a tiny bit more frequent here and we do have some evidence that it might be resident along the causeway between the island and the mainland but it's always a decent moth to see at the Bill.

We've had a run of this little Caloptilia just lately - is it now eight in the last fortnight plus one or two earlier in the summer? - and we suspect they're all the relatively recent colonist, Pale Maple Slender Caloptilia honoratella, although dissection will be required to confirm that suspicion © Martin Cade:

27th August

With the bank holiday weather eschewing convention and favouring holidaymakers over migrant hunters it was variety rather than numbers that saved the day; that said, Balearic Shearwaters did put on a decent show offshore where a short, sharp movement early in the morning at the Bill resulted in their highest total of the year to date. On the land, Turtle Dove and Goldcrest - both of almost equal rarity value these days! - were firsts for the season.

Portland Bill
Migrants Wheatear 80, Yellow Wagtail 60, Sand Martin 50, Willow Warbler 15, Tree Pipit 13, Grey Wagtail 6, Whinchat 6, Whitethroat 5, Pied Flycatcher 2, with singles including Snipe, Turtle Dove and Goldcrest.
Sea passage Gannet 270e, Balearic Shearwater 246e, Kittiwake 32, Common Scoter 9w 5e.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 217, Rusty-dot Pearl 77, Pearly Underwing 22, Turnip 21, Dark Sword Grass 11, Silver Y 10, Delicate 8, European Corn-borer 3, Spindle Knot-horn 1.

26th August

Weather-wise, summer returned with clear skies and warm sunshine throughout but the birding's starting to feel very mid-autumnal what with the sight and sound of the likes of Yellow and Grey Wagtails, Tree Pipits, Siskin and Chaffinches overhead; numbers on the ground were well down on yesterday but this was more than made up for by plenty of variety. Despite the clearer skies and a shift in wind direction into the northwest immigrant numbers remained very high.

Portland Bill
Migrants Yellow Wagtail 75, Wheatear 40, Willow Warbler 30, Tree Pipit 18, Grey Wagtail 6, Whinchat 6, Pied Flycatcher 4, Redstart 3, Spotted Flycatcher 3, Chaffinch 3, with singles including Golden Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grasshopper Warbler and Siskin.
Sea passage Mediterranean Gull 100w, Lesser Black-backed Gull 27s, Balearic Shearwater 8w, Common Scoter 4w 1e, Arctic Skua 1w, 

Curlew Sandpiper 1, Knot 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 342, Rusty-dot Pearl 47, Turnip 24, Dark Sword Grass 14, Pearly Underwing 14, Delicate 9, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 2, Striped Hawkmoth 2, Silver Y 2, European Corn-borer 1, Small Marbled 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1.

25th August

Well, they got that one wrong didn't they? Although the gist of heavy rain moving north out of France might have been correctly forecast its westward extent had been underestimated and the first hour or more of birding after dawn was scuppered as a dose of much-needed rain trundled through. Fortunately, one intrepid visitors braved the damp and discovered a Citrine Wagtail grounded at the Bill that quickly left before the rain even stopped. A nicely varied drop of common migrants was evident everywhere once things dried out, the moth-traps were busy with new arrivals after the very muggy night and the eventual heat of the afternoon saw a departing Montagu's Harrier cap off a long overdue really decent day.

Portland Bill
Migrants Willow Warbler 100, Wheatear 70, Sand Martin 40, Pied Flycatcher 20, Spotted Flycatcher 12, Whinchat 10, Whitethroat 10, Yellow Wagtail 8, Redstart 8, Sedge Warbler 8, Swift 7, Garden Warbler 4, Tree Pipit 3, Reed Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat 2, singles of Montagu's Harrier, Lapwing, Whimbrel, Citrine Wagtail and Wood Warbler
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 22w 8e, Mediterranean Gull 30etc, Lesser Black-backed Gull 30s, Kittiwake 12,  Common Scoter 7w 1e, Sandwich Tern 1w, commic tern 1w.

Pied Flycatcher 3, Redstart 1.

Pied Flycatcher 1.

Sanderling 2, Knot 2.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 144, Rusty-dot Pearl 88, Turnip 21, Dark Sword Grass 20, Pearly Underwing 17, Silver Y 12, Delicate 6, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 2, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Spindle Knot-horn 1, Bordered Straw 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1, Beautiful Marbled 1. Southwell: Striped Hawkmoth 1. Grove: Striped Hawkmoth 1.

24th August

With fog still rolling in and out at the Bill there weren't high hopes on the migrant front but in the event both numbers and variety were up a little on yesterday. 

Portland Bill
Migrants Wheatear 15, Willow Warbler 15, Whitethroat 12, Tree Pipit 5, Sedge Warbler 4, Pied Flycatcher 3, Spotted Flycatcher 2, singles of Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Turnstone, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Lesser Whitethroat.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 30w, Lesser Black-backed Gull 29s, Common Scoter 13w, Arctic Skua 2w, Great Skua 1w.

Pied Flycatcher 1.

Sanderling 3, Knot 2.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 80, Rush Veneer 73, Delicate 2, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Dark Sword Grass, Bordered Straw 1, Silver Y 1. Cheyne Weares: Olive-tree Pearl 1, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1.

23rd August

With a very humid Atlantic airflow firmly established low cloud blanketed the island overnight and persisted on and off throughout the day; inevitably, migrant interest diminished and, apart from the likes of a very belated first Redstart of the season, included little of note. In one of the brief clearances the first Sooty Shearwater of the autumn also passed by on the sea. The humidity and gentle southwesterly breeze combined to offer better prospects on the moth front and the rewards included two first records for the island - a Dusky Hook-tip and a Hawthorn Moth.  

Portland Bill
Migrants Wheatear 25, Willow Warbler 25, Tree Pipit 6, Yellow Wagtail 5, Pied Flycatcher 3, Blackcap 2, Ringed Plover 1, Dunlin 1, Whimbrel 1, Redstart 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 8w 1e, Sooty Shearwater 1w, Great Skua 1e, Arctic Skua 1w, Common Gull 1w; also Bluefin Tuna 1.

Pied Flycatcher 1.

Knot 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 91, Rusty-dot Pearl 43, Dark Sword Grass 3, Diamond-back 2, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana 2, Hawthorn Moth  Scythropia crataegella 1, Dusky Hook-tip 1, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 2, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Pearly Underwing 1, Delicate 1, Bordered Straw 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1, Silver Y 1.

A nice little Tree Pipit vs Meadow Pipit comparison - hopefully more on this in the next few days © Nick Bond (Tree Pipit) and Martin Cade (Meadow Pipit):

Once a quality rare immigrant, Dusky Hook-tip has increased in numbers in southeast England to the extent that it's now a breeding resident in places. In this context it's long been expected at Portland and the first duly put in an appearance at the Obs overnight; maybe surprisingly, this is seemingly also the first record for traditional 'old' - vc9 - Dorset (there's a record from Boscombe which is in administrative 'modern' Dorset but that's in vc11!).

Dusky Hook-tip's a pretty numerous moth just across the Channel in northern France where we've trapped plenty of them on several recent family holiday/mothing trips. These are four random examples photographed back at the end of July in Normandy; today's Portland specimen fell more or less in the middle of their variation - it lacked the lovely violet wash of some of the best specimens but wasn't as pale as the ones that most resembled Pebble Hook-tips...

...these two Pebble Hook-tips (also from Normandy) clearly show the much larger main discal spot on the forewing but also hint at there being a fair bit of variation in the prominence of the dark bar across the centre of the hindwing - although usually much more prominent on Dusky it was far weaker on some and, conversely, noticeably stronger than expected on some of the Pebbles © Martin Cade:

Having already had a 'two Portland moth ticks' night a few weeks back (Plumed Fan-foot and Small Scallop on 19th/20th July), astonishingly it happened again last night with this Hawthorn Moth also trapped at the Obs. Hawthorn Moth is one of those apparently fairly common and widespread species that's oddly rarely encountered in the Weymouth area and had hitherto never been recorded at all at Portland. However, it's fortunes might be changing locally since Paul Harris tells us that Phil Sterling's recently discovered it breeding at Radipole - perhaps the larval webs are something to look out for at Portland? © Martin Cade:

22nd August

Just a little bit more action today, with early heavy cloud cover that eventually gave way to persistent mizzly dampness dropping a few new arrivals, amongst which was the season's second Melodious Warbler.

Portland Bill
Migrants Willow Warbler 25, Yellow Wagtail 7, Wheatear 6, Tree Pipit 5, Pied Flycatcher 5, Whimbrel 4, Whinchat 2, singles of Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, and Chiffchaff.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 14w, Ringed Plover 6e, Arctic Skua 1e 1w, Yellow-legged Gull 2etc, Common Gull 1w, Arctic Tern 1e.

Ringed Plover 223, Dunlin 117.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 41, Rush Veneer 24, Delicate 2, European Corn-borer 1, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Dark Sword Grass 1, Pearly Underwing 1, Small Marbled 1, Silver Y.

Today's new Melodious Warbler was so classic in appearance that you'd like to think there'd never be a difficulty with identifying one like it in the field © Martin Cade:

A belated field-photo of yesterday's Melodious Warbler © Gary Watton:

And a typically ultra-confiding Whimbrel at the Bill today © Steve Curtis:

21st August

Has there ever been a 21st August without either Tree Pipit or Yellow Wagtail making the Bill day-list? - most likely not but there certainly has now with their non-appearance being just a sad reflection on a wider migrant no-show today. A reappearance of the Melodious Warbler from a couple of days ago and a fair showing of Balearic Shearwaters offshore marked the high spots of the day.

Portland Bill
Migrants Wheatear 9, Pied Flycatcher 3, Melodious Warbler 1, Blackcap 1, Willow Warbler 1.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 59w, Kittiwake 21w, Common Scoter 5w.

Ringed Plover 171, Dunlin 75, Turnstone 14, Sanderling 4, Knot 2, Curlew 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 35, Rush Veneer 16, Pearly Underwing 2, Silver Y 2, singles of Roseate Marble, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Scarce Bordered Straw and Bordered Straw.

This morning's juvenile Knot at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders:

20th August

Rather short rations again today on the land with a brisk westerly doing nothing for migrant numbers or variety. Offshore, a resurgence in Balearic Shearwaters at least provided some entertainment.

Portland Bill
Migrants Yellow Wagtail 15, Wheatear 10, Willow Warbler 10, Tree Pipit 9, Pied Flycatcher 7, Whimbrel 2, Whinchat 1, Reed Warbler 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 90w, Mediterranean Gull 60w 16e, Kittiwake 18w, Lesser Black-backed Gull 9s, Common Scoter 4w 1e, Arctic Skua 1w.

Spotted Flycatcher 2, Pied Flycatcher 1.

Ringed Plover 216, Turnstone 16, Sanderling 3, Knot 2, Whimbrel 1, Redshank 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 26, Rush Veneer 23, Turnip 22, Pearly Underwing 7, Dark Sword Grass 6, Diamond-back 2, Bordered Straw 2, Delicate 1.

The long-staying Knot found a friend this morning © Pete Saunders:

Wader-wise, Ringed Plovers are still dominating the scene at Ferrybridge...

...and on several recent evenings there we've been treated to one of those silly little 'simple things please simple minds' events that always catches our imagination at this time of year - we've probably witnessed it a hundred times over the years but it always excites: on evenings with a clear blue sky you can be sat counting or scrutinizing the waders when suddenly a whole bout of calling will break out for seemingly no reason at all; after a few seconds a few birds will fly up and aggregate together, usually undertake a couple of laps low over the sandflats and then tower up and head away high south over Chesil until they disappear from view as tiny specks in the far distance:

We've always thought it slightly odd that these little flocks are very often of mixed species - last night it was Ringed Plovers, Dunlins and a Sanderling. Of course we'd love to know where their next stop is - do they just cross the Channel and then drop in on, say, the huge wader roosts beside the Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel which would probably be reachable just as darkness fell or do they carry on all night and end up many hundreds of kilometers south by dawn? © Martin Cade:

This year's August peculiarity has been the number of Common Gulls logged in a month when they're usually absent from these parts - yesterday evening two more juveniles dropped in amongst the large gulls loafing on Chesil near Ferrybridge © Martin Cade:

19th August


A reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, Saturday 20th August.

When an Icterine Warbler and a succession of Pied Flycatchers emerged from the first looks at the Obs mist-nets in the dreichy gloom of post-dawn there were high hopes that a really good drop of migrants was unfolding; sadly, this optimism was soon crushed as the sun emerged, warmth built and, if indeed anything else had arrived, it evaporated in an instant.

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 30, Willow Warbler 15, Pied Flycatcher 8, Yellow Wagtail 7, Spotted Flycatcher 2, singles of Tree Pipit, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Icterine Warbler and Firecrest.
Visible passage Swallow 30s, Sand Martin 5s, Grey Heron 1n.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 17w, Sandwich Tern 7w, Common Gull 2w, Arctic Skua 1w.

Pied Flycatcher 2.

Ringed Plover 205, Dunlin c150, Sanderling 3, Knot 2, Common Gull 2, Redshank 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 31, Rush Veneer 15, Diamond-back 4, Dark Sword Grass 2, singles of European Corn-borer, Pearly Underwing, Small Marbled and Beautiful Marbled.

Birds have a lovely way of confounding what you've just written about them and making you seem even more stupid than you already are. By the time we got to see this morning's Icterine Warbler nestled in another ringer's hand there was some ongoing debate about its identity: the primary projection wasn't immediately apparent, it had no obvious wing panel and a request to count the emarginations elicited the response that it had three - a Melodious it must be. Of course it only took a quick measurement of the wing (79mm as opposed to yesterday's 67mm-winged Melodious) and a closer look at the bird to see that it was perfectly obviously an Icterine...

The anomalous features are certainly worth a mention though. An emargination on the 5th primary was very clearly present even if it wasn't quite as well formed as the emarginations on the 3rd and 4th primaries - Icterine can have this although it isn't usually present. Also check out the length of the 1st primary: this ought to fall a little way either side of the end of the primary coverts on an Icterine but clearly fell way beyond them on today's bird and so was of length much more likely for a Melodious. As for a wing panel one was hardly visible at all in the hand although we could just about imagine that, in the field, a coming together of the secondary edges might just make it a little more obvious.

On the plus side, and from a field ID perspective, the primary projection was huge, the bird was just that little bit more cold-toned than yesterday's Melodious, the throat was a little more lemon-tinted, the underparts were silkier white and, from certain angles at least, the tertials were really dark-centred © Martin Cade:

18th August

That's more like it: after a really pedestrian start autumn finally felt like it'd got going today, with the season's first Melodious Warbler the star of the show; in pleasantly warm, sunny conditions a nice arrival of Pied Flycatchers included 14 trapped and ringed at the Obs alone, where a varied back-up cast included an exceptionally early Firecrest. Another good showing of waders included exceptional totals of both Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank.

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 40, Willow Warbler 40, Pied Flycatcher 20, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler 3, singles of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Melodious Warbler, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Firecrest and Spotted Flycatcher.
Visible passage Swallow 70s, Lesser Black-backed Gull 12s, Ringed Plover 8, Redshank 4, Tree Pipit 4, Yellow Wagtail 3, Grey Wagtail 2.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 10w, Manx Shearwater 1w, 

Southwell/Reap Lane
Pied Flycatcher 6, Golden Plover 1.

Pied Flycatcher 2.

Ringed Plover 236, Dunlin 62, Black-tailed Godwit 26, Redshank 11, Common Sandpiper 3, Knot 1, Common Gull 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rusty-dot Pearl 43, Rush Veneer 37, Turnip 23, Pearly Underwing 13, Daimond-back 11, Dark Sword Grass 10, European Corn-borer 5, Silver Y 5, Spindle Knot-horn 3, singles of Maiden's Blush, Striped Hawkmoth, Scarce Bordered Straw, Bordered Straw, Beautiful Marbled and Small Marbled.

For a bird that so often throws up ID issues viz à viz Icterine Warbler in the field, Melodious Warbler is a doddle to identify in an instant in the hand: wing length is pretty well exclusive (Melodious nearly always in the 60s vs Icterine nearly always in the 70s; our bird today had a wing length of 67mm so was likely a male)...

...whilst Melodious has three good primary emarginations whereas Icterine has only two © Martin Cade

Another day, another wodge of Black-tailed Godwits, with Redshanks getting in on the act and arriving at Ferrybridge in far higher numbers than usual © Pete Saunders:

Something we don't get to see very often in this part of the world is a Common Gull in juvenile plumage: our wintering birds don't arrive back until mid-October by which time the youngsters of the year have largely moulted into first-winter plumage; before this time, Common Gulls in any plumage are unaccountably few and far between despite, for example, already being a common sight by late July just across the Channel in northern France © Martin Cade:

Bit of an odd morning: no big arrival of migrants but the Melodious trapped earlier, a singing male Firecrest at the Obs and at least 7 Pied Flys there pic.twitter.com/tj2xKW3NUw

17th August

Not a sniff of passerine migration picking up in any worthwhile manner today although the close proximity of some beefy, thundery showers did provide more wader interest including the island's highest ever total of Black-tailed Godwits. 

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 55, Willow Warbler 6, Dunlin 4, Ringed Plover 1, Whinchat 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Garden Warbler 1, Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Visible passage Ringed Plover 6s, Black-tailed Godwit 1e.
Sea passage Balearic Shearwater 21w, Black-headed Gull 21e, Common Scoter 2w, Common Gull 2e, Black-tailed Godwit 1e.

Tawny Owl 1.

Hobby 1.

Ringed Plover 148, Dunlin 67, Black-tailed Godwit 44e, Turnstone 14, Sandwich Tern 5, Sanderling 3, Knot 1, Redshank 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Common Gull 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 42, Rusty-dot Pearl 19, Silver Y 17, Diamond-back 14, Striped Hawkmoth 1, Dark Sword Grass 10, Pearly Underwing 1, Delicate 1, Scarce Bordered Straw 1, Bordered Straw 1. Southwell: Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1.

The Ferrybridge Black-tailed Godwits © Pete Saunders (top) and Debby Saunders (bottom):

16th August

Despite the first substantial rainfall in several months and heavily overcast skies for the best part of the day it seems that all vectors of passerine migration remain headed well away from Portland and it was left to waders and gulls to give some degree of respectability to the day's proceedings, with huge increases in Ringed Plover and Black-headed Gull of particular note. Overnight moth-trapping was also crushingly duff in conditions that had looked perfect for both immigration and trapping.

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 15, Willow Warbler 10, Sedge Warbler 5, Turnstone 2, Garden Warbler 2, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Whinchat 1, Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Visible passage Grey Plover 8, Ringed Plover 2, Common Sandpiper 2, Dunlin 1, Whimbrel 1, Turnstone 1.
Sea passage Black-headed Gull 378e, Mediterranean Gull 60, Balearic Shearwater 54, commic tern 14w, Common Scoter 9w 1e, Sandwich Tern 7w, Arctic Skua 2w; also Bluefin Tuna 2.

Ringed Plover 306, Dunlin 112, Sanderling 6, Grey Plover 1, Knot 1, Redshank 1, Wood Sandpiper 1, Arctic Tern 1.

Portland Harbour
Little Gull 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 63, Diamond-back 43, Rusty-dot Pearl 33, Dark Sword Grass 8, Silver Y 6, Glasswort Case-bearer 3, Spindle Knot-horn 2, Bordered Straw 2, Brown Knot-horn Matilella fusca 1, also Migrant Hawker dragonfly 1. 

Always a tricky bird to catch up with at Portland, this morning's Wood Sandpiper even obliged by settling at Ferrybridge...

...where a nicely-plumaged Grey Plover was another decent wader downed by the rain © Pete Saunders:

Late in the day a Little Gull was an unexpected bonus amongst the ubiquitous Mediterranean Gulls at Portland Harbour © Martin Cade: