1st November

After a night when it sounded like there were both numbers and variety on the move overhead a murky dawn looked to be full of promise. Goldcrests were soon apparent in the quantity we've grown accustomed to, with a good 100 through at the Bill in quick time, whilst scarce phylloscs were also again in tow, with a Yellow-browed Warbler dropping in briefly at the Obs and an even briefer subliminal glimpse of a presumed Pallas's Warbler there which moved through before it could be fully clinched; another Yellow-browed Warbler trapped and ringed at the Obs later in the day was thought likely to be a different individual to the early morning bird, whilst another individual showed up at Blacknor. In the fog thrushes were a little more conspicuous than they have been for a few days although still not as numerous as would be expected in early November, whilst the decent spread of mainly small numbers of most of the other expected migrants about the island included 10 Firecrests, 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Black Redstarts and singles of Woodlark and Dartford Warbler.

Once the fog had lifted and the temperature soared butterflies were quite numerous, with 6 species logged including a Clouded Yellow.

Overnight moth-trapping came up with a few more mainly routine immigrants including 2 Scarce Bordered Straw and a Delicate at the Obs, a White-speck at Sweethill and another Delicate at the Grove.

Yellow-browed Warbler - Portland Bill, 1st November 2015 © Laurie Jackson
To end with, we've just received Nick Hopper's report from his latest session of nocturnal recording (a three night run early last week of which these notes refer to the first two nights). There were no headline birds but a reasonable Song Thrush movement on the first night was noteworthy, whilst in slightly lighter winds there was a bit more variety on the second night; Blackbird calls in particular are also steadily increasing. The full totals for the two nights were: 25th/26th October 325 Song Thrush, 235 Redwing, 35 Blackbird, 5 Skylark, 3 Robin, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest and 1 Brambling (the latter a first for the current project); 26th/27th October 194 Redwing, 169 Song Thrush, 61 Blackbird, 6 Robin, 2 each of Skylark, Fieldfare and Goldcrest, and singles of Water Rail, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Ring Ouzel and Starling (the latter another first for this project).