17th June

Another little sprinkle of migrants at the Bill today, where singles of Curlew, Yellow WagtailReed Warbler, Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher all put in appearances. The sea came up with nothing more than 2 Manx Shearwaters through off the Bill.

Marbled White and Yellow Wagtail - Tout Quarry and Portland Bill, 17th June 2015 © Ken Dolbear (Marbled White) and Nick Hopper (Yellow Wagtail)
...the Yellow Wagtail was bombing about overhead for much of the morning and from Nick's photos looks to be something other than a standard British Yellow Wag. On the off chance of a fly-by Bee-eater or something similar Nick had left his nocturnal recording gear switched on well into the morning and the first pass of the Yellow Wagtail was captured - together with a woefully late shout from one of the clearly audibly-challenged patio dwellers! 

Finally, a little curiosity from yesterday. We didn't give this demonstrably obvious Reed Warbler more than a second glance when we came across it in a net at the Obs:

However, on being measured it turned out to be well on the small side with a wing length of only 62mm; even more oddly, when we bothered to have a closer look it showed more than a trace of a second emargination (Reed Warbler usually has just the one on primary 3, whereas on Blyth's Reed both primaries 3 and 4 are emarginated):

Whilst the emargination on primary 4 clearly isn't as well formed as the one on primary 3 there's certainly a thinning of the outer web of the feather that could easily be construed as a 'proper' emargination by anyone, for example, attempting to 'read' the wing formula from a field photograph. Although a few of the biometrics fell within the Reed/Blyth's Reed overlap there was nothing else to suggest it was anything other than a Reed Warbler: the plumage was typical Reed and the likes of the wing point (primary 3 instead of primaries 3 and 4), the position of primary 2 (equal to primary 4 as opposed to as short as at least primary 5) and the position of the emargination on primary 3 (falling level with the secondaries instead of shorter than them) were all very typical for Reed.