6th October

Frequent heavy showers continued to get in the way of concerted fieldwork but there was at least fair coverage of many areas. For once the sea provided some of the day's better birding, with 6 Arctic Skuas, 2 Balearic Shearwaters and a Long-tailed Skua through off the Bill and a likely Long-tailed Skua through Portland Harbour. The weather wasn't at all favourable for overhead passage but the sprinkle of migrants on the ground included 5 Firecrests in the Pennsylvania Castle/Wakeham area and small numbers of Wheatears, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests everywhere; tardy earlier autumn migrants included a Whinchat at the Bill, 2 Garden Warblers and a Reed Warbler at Tilleycombe and singles of Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher at Portland Castle.

A Maize Moth Spoladea recurvalis was a nice but not altogether surprising rarity highlight in the Obs moth-traps; immigrant variety there also included 2 each of White-speck and Delicate.

Maize Moth - Portland Bill, 6th October 2015 © Martin Cade
...if we hadn't have been so fortunate as to have caught quite a few Maize Moths over the years we wouldn't have been quite so cocky as to attempt a record-shot of it with the phone to post as an early grip-off (...how crass is that?) - inevitably it flew off without being secured which served us right.