31st August

A quiet end to the month with a little bit of visible passage but nothing grounded in any quantity. Overhead totals at the Bill included 17 each of Grey Wagtail and Tree Pipit, whilst on the ground there only Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail managed to get above 30; quality got no better than a scatter of White Wagtails everywhere and a single Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill. The sea has been rather neglected in recent days, although perhaps largely because precious little's been logged whenever it has been given any attention; a lone Great Skua through off the Bill was the best on offer today.

The Obs immigrant moth tally included 10 Silver Y, 9 Rush Veneer, 6 Dark Sword Grass, 4 Rusty-dot Pearl, 3 Scarce Bordered Straw, 2 Delicate and singles of Vestal, Pearly Underwing and Ni Moth.

A White Wagtail at Portland Castle this evening © Martin Cade:

30th August

It's happened time and again this year, but once again heavy rain that looked from radar images as though it couldn't miss the island fizzled out just as it arrived here and the forecast downpour amounted to no more than some light drizzle. The change from the recent anticyclonic conditions did however make all the difference to the variety of migrants on offer. Quality-wise, it was a Rose-coloured Starling that flew north low over the Crown Estate Field - looking very much as though it had just arrived in off the sea - that provided the day's highlight. Willow Warbler replaced Yellow Wagtail at the top of the numbers board, with 75 dropping in at the Bill, but a good many of the other expected species put in appearances, amongst which 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and a White Wagtail were the most noteworthy.

On a breezier night moth numbers dropped back once again, with 3 Scarce Bordered Straw and a Delicate the only scarcer immigrants trapped at the Obs; elsewhere, singles of Vestal at Reap Lane and Weston were of interest.

It'll likely only be a matter of days before all the Willow Warblers are replaced by Chiffchaffs but their swansong today was decent enough, with more about at the Bill than on most days so far this autumn. Even allowing for their mediocre passage this season, we've got nothing to grumble about when it comes to Willows: such were the numbers this spring that their all-time annual ringing record was nearly broken in that season alone, and has been resoundingly trounced now that we've nearly got to the end of their autumn passage © Martin Cade:

29th August

A pretty low-key day although the late in the day arrival of complete cloud cover and a freshening breeze hinted at what sounds to be a welcome change in the weather that's on the way for tomorrow. Yellow Wagtails were still about and accounted for most of the day's numbers, with around 200 early on but many fewer as the day wore on. The Marsh Harrier was still at the Bill, at least for a while during the morning, but it was otherwise very quiet everywhere, with 4 Whinchats, 3 White Wagtails and 3 Spotted Flycatchers about the best on offer amongst the very thin spread of new grounded arrivals at the Bill. Ferrybridge came up with 6 Sanderling, 3 Mute Swans and a Bar-tailed Godwit, whilst the summering Eider was still in Portland Harbour.

Immigrant moth numbers increased a little, with 27 Rush Veneer, 19 Dark Sword Grass, 17 Rusty-dot Pearl, 6 Silver Y, 2 each of Olive-tree Pearl, European Corn-borer and Delicate, and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Vestal and Pearly Underwing trapped overnight at the Obs; a similar selection elsewhere included singles of Olive-tree Pearl and Vestal at Sweethill, a Vestal at Reap Lane and a Small Mottled Willow at Weston.

We're usually too tied up at this time of year with birds and the static moths traps to be able find either the time or energy to be able to get out mobile moth-trapping, but the balmy conditions a couple of nights ago tempted us out to Ferrybridge for a few hours where we were mainly on the lookout for some of the local micros. It was quite a surprise to find several Saltmarsh Grass-veneer Pediasia aridella still on the wing - albeit now looking pretty shoddy - this late in the summer:

...and amongst them a Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella was even more unexpected; we catch the odd one now and again at the Obs where we'd always imagined they were immigrants/dispersers but the short turf at the end of the Ferrybridge carpark looks to be a pretty suitable breeding site for them and we wouldn't mind betting that they turn out to be resident there: 

Considering there was Sea Aster dotted about around the trap it probably wasn't a surprise to catch a few Large Saltmarsh Conch Phalonidia affinitana - a local species in Dorset restricted to saltmarsh beside the Fleet and Poole Harbour (although we have recorded it once or twice wandering out as far as the Obs) photos © Martin Cade

28th August

There certainly hasn't been an August Bank Holiday weekend in recent memory blessed with such settled, hot conditions as we've experienced this year - in fact today, with its stifling heat, millpond calm sea and increasing amounts of haziness had something of the feel of being marooned in the doldrums about it. We get the impression that these conditions have led to migration stagnating, with many birds taking a break until there's at least a favourable breeze to aid their departure. Yellow Wagtails have been the weekend's star feature, with increasing numbers gathering around the island: without a complete census a total can only be guesstimated but based on the sample counts at several favoured sites we doubt that today's tally was less than 1000, with more than 100 remaining to roost in the Crown Estate Field maize. There were no other particularly notable totals amongst the thinnish scatter of other common migrants, but interest came in the form of singles of Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Merlin and Short-eared Owl at the Bill, a Green Sandpiper over Blacknor and 2 Hobbys and a Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge. The only report from the sea was of 13 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.

Raptors featured quite well at the Bill today, including this Marsh Harrier © Martin Cade:...

...this pale Common Buzzard; there doesn't seem to be any pale component in our local population of Common Buzzards so this youngster is certainly of off-island origin © Martin Cade:...

...and the Osprey that motored through in the distance during the afternoon © James Phillips:

Most fair-sized Yellow Wagtail flocks seem to throw up a few oddballs, and today came up with this rather strikingly-marked bird below Culverwell © Nevil Fowler:

...and this quite pale bird trapped at the Obs © Martin Cade:

Following their seemingly relentless decline we're not sure we ever imagined seeing again the sort of numbers of Yellow Wagtails that have been logged in recent days. Autumn Pied Flycatcher numbers have always fluctuated rather wildly but we're getting a nasty sense that they're another thing we might never see in quantity again - in the good old days there really did used to be falls of dozens of them at this time of year, but now we seem to struggle to get more than odd singles like today's bird at Southwell © Pete Saunders:

27th August

Another blisteringly hot day - in fact too hot by the afternoon to summon up the enthusiasm for fieldwork! Although holidaymaker-friendly, the conditions were far too nice to have expected much in the way of new grounded migrants and it was left to the plethora of off-passage Yellow Wagtails - including more than 250 at the Bill alone - to provide the best of the entertainment; the scatter of other birds at the Bill included 20 Tree Pipits, 20 Willow Warblers, 13 Sedge Warblers, 8 White Wagtails and 3 Garden Warblers, with the more of the same selection elsewhere including a Golden Plover over Blacknor and a Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge.

Overnight moth-trapping conditions were again favourable for a good haul of resident species but immigrant interest remained subdued with hardly a waft of a breeze to offer assistance to new arrivals; the catch at the Obs included 13 Rush Veneer, 12 Silver Y, 9 Rusty-dot Pearl, 8 Dark Sword Grass, 4 Scarce Bordered Straw, 2 Pearly Underwing and singles of European Corn-borer, Marbled Yellow Pearl, Pine Carpet and Delicate; at least 5 more Scarce Bordered Straw were trapped at other sites, whilst a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found by day at the Grove.

Regular visitors to the blog will know that we're rarely able to give immediate reports on nocturnal sound recording sessions for the simple reason that it takes Nick Hopper so long to thoroughly go through his recordings. Nick's last visit was a case in point, consisting as it did of two very busy nights. We've already mentioned an Ortolan Bunting on the first night - 21st-22nd August - when there were also 124 Tree Pipit calls/pairs of calls (as mentioned before there is a two note call - which can also be three or four very tightly packed calls - that's counted as 1), 22 Robin, 4 Pied Flycatcher and singles of Whimbrel, Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover. On the second night - 22nd-23rd August - there were another 3 Ortolans - at 23.06hrs, 03.16hrs and 04.25hrs - along with 1012 Tree Pipit calls/pairs of calls; the additional totals refer to isolated single or distinct groups of calls that consisted of: 5 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Robin, 2 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Sandpiper, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 4 Turnstone, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Common Snipe, 7 Dunlin, 1 Green Sandpiper and, last but not least, a Common Scoter that was particularly significant because it also came with wingbeats. These wingbeats match exactly the mystery sound that was posted on 9th July 2015 and then revisited on on 14th July where it was postulated that the sounds were wingbeats, the frequency of which matching probably a large duck, which turns out to be pretty spot on! Not only that but a subsequent re-visit to the said recording reveals that the rather anomalous note at 8 seconds is actually a call (along with some very faint ones later) confirming the identity.

On this recording of the second of the three Ortolans it can be heard faintly at 4 secs and clearly at 13secs and 18 secs:

26th August

Bags of birds about in absolutely glorious conditions but, maybe oddly, it didn't feel that exciting with precious little evidence that there were actually all that many new arrivals today. Yellow Wagtails in particular were everywhere, with more than 200 settled at the Bill alone (75 of these remaining to roost in the Crown Estate Field) and hirundines were again plentiful throughout the island, but there was only a thin spread of the likes of Sedge Warblers and Willow Warblers, whilst among the less regulars there was precious little more than a handful of White Wagtails at the Bill. The White Stork appeared overhead again several times either side of midday when it was presumed to have dropped in somewhere without being spotted.

Immigrant moth interest didn't really get beyond the ticking over level, with 15 Rush Veneer, 10 Silver Y, 9 Rusty-dot Pearl, 6 Dark Sword Grass, 2 each of Pearly Underwing and Delicate, and a single Marbled Yellow Pearl making up the overnight tally at the Obs.

The mass of wagtails made for great viewing and we wouldn't be surprised if there weren't as many as 500 Yellow Wagtails about the island as a whole © Roger Hewitt:

Several White Wagtails were amongst them at the Bill © Keith Pritchard:

Autumn Ladies Tresses are well out and quite plentiful at the Bill right now © Roger Hewitt:

Wall Lizards are encountered quite widely these days - this one was at the Bill today © Roger Hewitt:

25th August

An absolutely lovely day to be out birding in unbroken sunshine and with it beginning to feel really warm once what little breeze there'd been early in the morning had dropped to nothing by the afternoon. Whilst there was precious little by way of what might be termed a fall of migrants there is now so much movement afoot that off-passage gatherings at the Bill of, for example, well into four figures of hirundines and 150 Yellow Wagtails, along with overhead totals there that included 45 Tree Pipits, were more than enough to convey the excitement of the season. Whilst their origins might be debated, the sight of singles of Osprey and White Stork overhead provided the icing on the cake of a good day for variety; singles of Green Sandpiper and Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill and Hobby over Ferrybridge were of further note. The only report from the sea was of a lone Balearic Shearwater through off the Bill.

Singles of Gem and Delicate - along with wandering Black Arches - provided the best of the interest amongst a relatively meagre selection of immigrant moths at the Obs.

Yellow Wagtails were a pretty constant presence both on the deck and overhead, with a few even remaining to roost in the maize strips in the Crown Estate Field © Pete Saunders:

The Osprey showed nicely as it headed south over Southwell © Pete Saunders:

The White Stork lingered overhead for quite a while this afternoon - here over Southwell © Pete Saunders:

We haven't followed very closely the story of this bird but if we've understood correctly the colour-ring combination identifies it as a rehabilitated bird that was originally from Poland; it was released in Norfolk earlier this year and is the same individual that was seen along the Fleet and further west in Dorset a fortnight ago (...but, per Devon birders, isn't the individual seen in east Devon in recent days).

Although they're often about at this time of year, it's rather rare for us to actually catch and get good close looks at White Wagtail, so this one jammed whilst we were messing about at trying to catch roosting Yellow Wagtails was a welcome in-hand highlight © Martin Cade:

24th August

A bit more variety today, with the Bill returning totals that included 100 Yellow Wagtails, 50 each of Wheatear, Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler, 10 Sedge Warblers and 6 Grey Wagtails, together with minor oddities such as 4 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper and another very early Reed Bunting; another Greenshank passed over at Ferrybridge. The sea remained quiet, with just 4 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.

Immigrant moths included the season's first Convolvulus Hawk-moth and 2 Delicates at the Bill, and single Olive-tree Pearls at Sweethill and the Grove.

With singles already having been reported from as far north as Scotland, Portland's first Convolvulus Hawkmoth of the season was rather overdue © Martin Cade:

23rd August

Some encouraging signs of migrant action today, with a small flurry on the ground and a conspicuous pulse of hirundines moving through overhead into the brisk westerly breeze. Grounded numbers were hardly special but at the Bill Wheatears and Yellow Wagtails topped 80 and 40 respectively, whilst 5 Whinchats and a Pied Flycatcher was the best of the less frequent migrants; another 2 Pied Flycatchers were at Southwell. A steady post-dawn movement of hirundines included 300 Swallows and a rather early 100 House Martins through at the Bill, where 17 Tree Pipits and singles of Whimbrel, Wood Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper also passed over; the same or another Green Sandpiper also overflew Ferrybridge, where there was a good total of 9 Redshanks. The only other report was of the summering Eider still in Portland Harbour.

Immigrant moth numbers also registered an encouraging increase, with 24 Rusty-dot Pearl, 14 Silver Y, 3 Rush Veneer, 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths and singles of Latticed Heath, Pearly Underwing and Scarce Bordered Straw caught overnight at the Obs.

A few of the day's migrants: Redshank at Ferrybridge and Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell © Pete Saunders:

...and Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler at the Bill © Joe Stockwell:

We've been a bit disappointed not to have received a single photo of the Yellow Warbler from any of the 'big lens' photographers who rolled up for the Yellow Warbler a couple of days ago but among the offerings from others who've got in touch here's another still and another video of it © Roger Hewitt (still) and Dave Foot (video):

22nd August

Portland's fall from grace today was as rapid as it's elevation to stardom had been yesterday, with a surprise no-show by the Yellow Warbler coming as a huge disappointment to a host of travelling birders. Despite an overnight switch to easterlies (that we later discovered had been instrumental in delivering the first nocturnal Ortolan Bunting of the season) there were remarkably few compensations evident that might have eased the pain of the dip, with nothing of quality amongst the thin spread of migrants at the Bill: Willow Warblers increased to 50, but 10 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Tree Pipits and singles of Redshank, Redstart, Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher were about as good as it got. Seawatching came up with reports of small numbers of Balearic Shearwaters lingering offshore all day, together with 21 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas and some very promising-looking gatherings of hundreds of gulls attracted to bait fish shoals. The only other reports were of 89 Dunlin, 20 Dunlin and 2 Brent Geese at Ferrybridge.

Overnight mothing was pretty uneventful with a single White-speck at Cheyne Weare the only worthwhile immigrant.

The Ortolan that called just once an hour or so after dusk was the highlight of Nick Hopper's overnight sound recording session: 

21st August

Well, who'd have thought it? One little hurricane, one major rare: the dregs of Hurricane Gert didn't even look to have passed very near to Portland but in the balmy sunshine that followed a damp, foggy night it was discovered that they'd dumped a Yellow Warbler at Culverwell where it showed from time to time throughout the afternoon and evening. The rest of the day's sightings paled into insignificance and hadn't amounted to much anyway, with just dribs and drabs of routine fare at Bill - including 20 Wheatears, 15 Sedge Warblers, 10 Yellow Wagtails, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher - and 2 slightly unseasonable Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Ferrybridge of note. The sea wasn't given as much attention as in recent days, with singles of Balearic Shearwater and Great Skua the best on offer off the Bill.

The Yellow Warbler © Chris Patrick (top), Nick Urch (middle) and Martin Cade (video):

It was never especially vocal but having heard it calling from time to time when it really wasn't at all showy we briefly tried to entice it out with a sound-lure that elicited what amounted to a frenzied bout of calling in response (...although it still scarcely emerged from cover): 

And a couple of crowd photos: the bird rarely left the dense sallows in front of and to the left of the mid-afternoon gathering...

...by dusk when we drove home the crowd had swelled and was spilling off the pavement:

20th August

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Tuesday, 22nd August.

Very welcome quieter conditions had the desired effect and saw migrants get moving again - even if only in numbers that were hardly special. The Bill area and Southwell got some fair coverage and returned totals of 45 Wheatears, 25 Whitethroats, 20 Yellow Wagtails, 18 Sedge Warblers, 15 Willow Warblers, 7 Tree Pipits, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Garden Warblers and singles of Grey Heron, Whimbrel, Reed Warbler, Redstart and Reed Bunting. Waders were also on the up, with 94 Ringed Plovers, 36 Oystercatchers, 30 Dunlin and 2 Sanderlings at Ferrybridge. Balearic Shearwaters continued to dominate the sea tally, with 125 though off the Bill up to mid-morning (thereafter movement fizzled out and good numbers of lingerers were about for the rest of the day); 28 Common Scoter and a lone Great Skua also passed though there.

In view of the lack of other immigrant moth arrivals it was presumed that the Striped Hawkmoth trapped overnight at the Obs was the individual caught earlier in the week that was released yesterday (...although if it was the same one it had got surprisingly worn in the few hours that it had been at liberty); the only other immigrants caught there were 2 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Scarce Birdered Straw and Silver Y.

Migrant variety is beginning to increase and at Southwell today included this Redstart  © Pete Saunders:

...and these two Yellow Wagtails  © Nick Stantiford:

At the Bill, this Grey Heron has been stalking around the bone-dry Crown Estate Field for the last week; it's sufficiently furtive that we haven't managed to observe what it's catching but we're guessing that it must be the likes of voles and rats © Martin Cade:

19th August

Although passerine passage didn't pick up at all in the continuing blustery northwesterlies today wasn't without a few snippets of quality, notably a decent count of at least 92 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill; the sea also came up with 22 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Great Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Yellow-legged Gull, with another Yellow-legged Gull dropping in at Ferrybridge. A scatter of Wheatears around the Bill totalled 17, with 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Heron and a Tree Pipit of minor note amongst what few other grounded migrants were on offer.

A part of 25-30 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were off the east side of the island for much of the day.

Singles of Rusty-dot Pearl and Silver Y were the night's only immigrant moth captures at the Obs.

Yellow-legged Gull and Herring Gull at Ferrybridge this morning  © Pete Saunders: 

18th August

With any luck today, with its zero ringing tally, will prove to be something of an autumn migrant nadir although with no particular change in the weather on the cards until after the weekend we perhaps wouldn't bet against a repeat tomorrow! There were a few birds about, with a Cuckoo at Blacknor easily the highlight on the land, where 10 each of Wheatear and Sedge Warbler provided the only worthwhile totals of routine fare at the Bill. In the brisk westerly the sea got plenty of looks and returned totals of at least 26 Balearic Shearwaters, 6 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Sanderling, a Sooty Shearwater and a Yellow-legged Gull through off the Bill.

The strength of the wind was again a downer when it came to overnight mothing, with 3 Scarce Bordered Straw, 2 Silver Y, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and a Red Admiral butterfly the only immigrants making it into the Obs traps.

And for something completely different, thanks to Paul Bowyer for sending us through details of a rare fly recorded on the island earlier this summer. During a moth-trapping session with Dave Nevitt at Cheyne Weare on 5th July, Paul potted on unfamiliar fly that has recently been confirmed by Martin Drake as the critically endangered Sciapus heteropygus - a species last recorded in Britain 29 years ago! © Paul Bowyer: 

17th August

The days when we used to get established easterly airflows during August seem so long ago as to be from a bygone age of birding - one when there used to be falls of migrants and regular rarities at this time of year. Sadly, blustery westerlies do precious little for us, as evidenced by today's dismal showing of just 3 birds ringed at the Obs; a lone Marsh Harrier was the only sighting of any consequence amongst the low single figure totals of grounded and visible migrants at the Bill. The sea was hardly more compelling, with the feeding flocks of gulls that had been attracting Balearic Shearwaters in recent weeks not a feature in the much rougher seas off the Bill; a total of 13 passing Balearics were logged, along with 47 Common Scoter and 6 Manx Shearwaters.

In windy and wet conditions overnight the immigrant moth totals at the Obs consisted of just 3 each of Rusty-dot Pearl and Silver Y, and singles of Rush Veneer, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Pearly Underwing and Scarce Bordered Straw.

This morning's Marsh Harrier over the Bill © Martin Cade:

16th August

A rather overcast dawn dropped a handful more migrants, with the Bill area coming up with 20 Tree Pipits, 15 each of Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler, 10 each of Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear, and singles of Grey Heron, Garden Warbler and Pied Flycatcher. Offshore, Balearic Shearwaters reached at least 25 - and likely quite a few more if they'd ever aggregated together - and 13 Common Scoter, 3 Great Skuas, 2 Whimbrel and a Manx Shearwater padded out the variety.

A Striped Hawkmoth was a surprise overnight capture in the Obs moth-traps, with 9 Rush Veneer, 7 each of Rusty-dot Pearl and Dark Sword Grass, and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Marbled Yellow Pearl, Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella and Dark Spinach making up the rest of the immigrant tally there; a Vestal at the Grove was the pick of the catches elsewhere.

With it having been a poor year nationally for Striped Hawkmoths there had been no expectation of coming across one in the moth-traps: 

Marbled Yellow Pearl is recorded around the island just about often enough these days that you'd imagine it might sometimes breed but we still don't have any direct evidence that it has done © Martin Cade:  

15th August

There's barely a sniff of passage becoming in any way sustained, with today's migrant tally at the Bill consisting of no more than 15 Wheatears, 10 each of Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler, 6 Tree Pipits and a Yellow Wagtail. Balearic Shearwaters have been reliable in providing interest at sea and that continued today with at least 25 lingering off the Bill but, bar a lone Yellow-legged Gull, there was little else of note to report from the sea. Four Sanderling, 2 Redshank and 'the' Grey Plover were amongst the waders at Ferrybridge.

There was just a hint of moth immigration taking off again, with 3 Hummingbird Hawkmoths and an Olive-tree Pearl at the Obs and single Marbled Yellow Pearls both there and at the Grove; commoner immigrant numbers at the Obs included 24 Rusty-dot Pearl, 12 Dark Sword Grass, 8 Rush Veneer, 2 Diamond-back Moth and a single Silver Y.

14th August

Yesterday's little pulse of passage rapidly fizzled out, with today's seemingly ideal conditions producing precious little by way of numbers on the land. Overflying Tree Pipits - 15 in all - featured most strongly amongst what little there was at the Bill, with 7 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Common Sandpipers providing the only other minor interest on the land there. The sea was more interesting, with at least 50 Balearic Shearwaters again ever-present offshore; 34 Common Scoter, 9 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Arctic Skuas, 3 Great Skuas and a Yellow-legged Gull also passed through or lingered there.

Overnight mothing was as low-key as the birding, with 15 Dark Sword Grass, 8 each of Rush Veneer and Rusty-dot Pearl, and 5 Silver Y constituting the immigrant tally at the Obs.

We suspect that it isn't widely appreciated just how few of the common migrants passing through Portland appear to enter or leave the country via the island during subsequent migration seasons; of course, we only have the ringing evidence to support our assumptions here (...and so it may be that more ringed migrants simply miss the nets during subsequent visits than appears to be the case) but today's Sedge Warbler, that was previously ringed on 30th July last year, is one of fewer than 10 subsequent recaptures of migrants that don't breed here during the whole history of the Obs - with a sample size of what's probably now well past 250,000 it certainly seems like most migrants don't use the same entry and exit points each year © Martin Cade: 

We don't very often mention the many ringed Mediterranean Gulls that it's possible to see these days at Ferrybridge, largely because most of those that we do hear about seem to have originated in 'expected' areas of continental Europe. However, these two birds from yesterday seemed to be slightly different to usual: green RV0X was ringed as a nestling in Vendee, western France, on 1st July, whilst yellow 2C65 was ringed as a nestling at Langstone Harbour on 28th June; western France and the UK may be regular points of origin but we don't recollect having heard them mentioned before this © Pete Saunders (and thanks to Debby Saunders for taking the trouble to submit these sightings):

13th August

It's been some time coming but a nice, set-fair day saw a good few departing migrants drop in at the Bill. Numbers were nothing more than modest but 150 Swallows, 100 Swifts, 60 Willow Warblers, 25 Sedge Warblers, 20 Whitethroats and 15 Wheatears made up the bulk, with the likes of 3 Tree Pipits, 2 each of Grasshopper Warbler and Garden Warbler, and singles of Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Lesser Whitethroat providing a modicum of variety. The sea was again worth attention, with 56 Balearic Shearwaters the best on offer at the Bill. The only others reports were from Ferrybridge, where singles of Grey Plover and Sanderling were amongst the small numbers of commoner fare.

Immigrant moth numbers picked up a little, with 15 Rusty-dot Pearl, 11 Dark Sword Grass, 4 Silver Y and 3 each of Diamond-back Moth and Rush Veneer trapped overnight at the Obs.

12th August

After an unexpectedly windy and at times wet night lingering/feeding Balearic Shearwaters were a constant feature off the Bill, where the highest count in one scan was 17 but with all the comings and goings it looked like perhaps as many of 50 birds were involved; Common Scoter passage continued with another 73 through, whilst 20 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Sandwich Terns were also logged. After yesterday's small fall the land reverted to being the poor relation: at the Bill the Wheatear and Willow Warbler tallies topped 30 each but singles of Hobby and Grasshopper Warbler were the only less regulars making the list.

Immigrant moth numbers plummeted, with just two each of Rusty-dot Pearl and Rush Veneer, and singles of Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y - along with 3 Red Admiral butterflies - making up the totals from the Obs traps.

11th August

Bill: Land Wheatear 40, Willow Warbler 40, Sedge Warbler 30, Tree Pipit 5, Ringed Plover 1, Dunlin 1, Reed Warbler 1, Blackcap 1, Garden Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1. Sea Balearic Shearwater 5, Manx Shearwater 5, Common Scoter 4, Arctic Skua 3, Yellow-legged Gull 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 100, Black-headed Gull 51w, Dunlin 50, Oystercatcher 27, Sanderling 3, Shelduck 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Dark Sword Grass 37, Rush Veneer 12, Rusty-dot Pearl 10, Silver Y 2.

10th August

Bill: Land Wheatear 40, Willow Warbler 35, Sedge Warbler 20, Tree Pipit 5, Yellow Wagtail 3, Whinchat 2, Garden Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1. Sea Common Scoter 42, Manx Shearwater 8, Balearic Shearwater 4, Yellow-legged Gull 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 80, Dunlin 40, Oystercatcher 36, Sanderling 14, Redshank 3, Greenshank 1, Common Sandpiper 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Dark Sword Grass 63, Silver Y 17, Rusty-dot Pearl 6, Rush Veneer 4.

9th August

Bill: Sea Manx Shearwater 41, Common Scoter 17, Balearic Shearwater 16, Arctic Skua 2, Great Skua 1. Land Wheatear 7, Sedge Warbler 3, Willow Warbler 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 75, Dunlin 45, Turnstone 16, Sanderling 3, Whimbrel 1, Redshank 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Dark Sword Grass 75, Silver Y 28, Rusty-dot Pearl 6, Rush Veneer 4.

8th August

Bill: Land Willow Warbler 25, Sedge Warbler 20, Wheatear 7, Blackcap 2, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 1, Pied Flycatcher1. Sea Balearic Shearwater 200, Common Scoter 44, Cormorant 26s, Manx Shearwater 3, Mediterranean Gull 3, Grey Plover 2, Artic Skua 2, Great Skua 2, Redshank 1.
Ferrybridge: Sanderling 3, Redshank 1, Common Sandpiper 1.
Portland Harbour: Eider 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Dark Sword Grass 57, Silver Y 34, Rusty-dot Pearl 13, Diamond-back Moth 1, Rusty-dot Pearl, European Corn-borer 1.

7th August

Bill: Land Wheatear, 5, Sedge Warbler 4, Grashopper Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 1. Sea Manx Shearwater 11, Balearic Shearwater 2, Arctic Skua 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 35, Dunlin 20, Sanderling 2, Knot 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Dark Sword Grass 6, Rusty-dot Pearl 5, Diamond-back Moth 1, Rush Veneer 1, Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1.

One of this morning's Sandwich Terns at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders: 

6th August

Bill: Land Sedge Warbler 30, Willow Warbler 25, Wheatear 16, Tree Pipit 1, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 1, Garden Warbler 1. Sea Common Scoter 36, Balearic Shearwater 24, Dunlin 5, Manx Shearwater 3, Arctic Skua 3, Yellow-legged Gull 3, Sanderling 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 100, Mediterranean Gull 78, Sanderling 4, Grey Plover 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Silver Y 21, Dark Sword Grass 16, Rusty-dot Pearl 1.

We're not that well up on the sometimes complicated matter of ageing terns and are away from the required literature but we presume that this weirdly-plumaged Common Tern at Ferrybridge this morning is most likely an immature (first- or second-summer) © Pete Saunders: 

5th August

Bill: Land Willow Warbler 60, Sedge Warbler 35, Wheatear 15, Swift 10, Sand Martin 2. Sea Balearic Shearwater 21, Manx Shearwater 3, Dunlin 2, Arctic Skua 1.
Ferrybridge: Sanderling 3, Common Sandpiper 1, Redshank 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Silver Y 15, Dark Sword Grass 14, Rusty-dot Pearl 4, Diamond-back Moth 1, Rush Veneer 1.

4th August

Bill: Land Wheatear 6, Sedge Warbler 6, Willow Warbler 6. Sea Manx Shearwater 20, Sooty Shearwater 1, Balearic Shearwater 1, Great Skua 1.
Ferrybridge: Ringed Plover 117, Dunlin 53, Sanderling 21, Turnstone 13, Curlew 4, Common Sandpiper 2, Redshank 1, Black-tailed Godwit 1.
Obs immigrant moths: Rusty-dot Pearl 2, Dark Sword Grass 1, Silver Y.

3rd August

Bill: Sea Manx Shearwater 30, Balearic Shearwater 20, Arctic Skua 6, Storm Petrel 2, Great Skua 2. Land Wheatear 1, Sedge Warbler 1.
Chesil Cove: Storm Petrel 1 + Ocean Sunfish 1.
Ferrybridge: Sanderling 5, Whimbrel 1, Kittiwake 1,
Obs immigrant moths: Rusty-dot Pearl 1.

Portland thrives on nice settled conditions and accompanying falls of departing migrants (...along the the occasional bonus Melodious Warbler) at this time of year; today's photos largely reflect the current run of full-on gales that aren't the conditions we'd wish to be experiencing right now! Manx Shearwater off the Bill © Pete Saunders: 

...and Kittiwake at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders: 

A Whimbrel was the only wader of note at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders: