31st October

A relatively quiet end to the month with the veil of high cloud that drifted in after dawn coming too late to drop much in the way of grounded migrants, whilst overhead passage was unexpectedly slow. The first appearance this winter at Ferrybridge of what's likely to be a returning Black Brant was of note but the only other scarcity reported was the lingering Yellow-browed Warbler at Broadcroft Quarry. Most of the expected late autumn migrants did get on the day list but only a handful of the less frequent thrushes and finches managed even double figure totals, with at least 3 Bullfinches and a Mistle Thrush the best that could be mustered at the Bill. On the ground there was little better on offer than a good scatter of ones and twos of Firecrests, many of which have now been around for a while and look as though they're settling in for winter; other likely winterers of interest included the first Black-necked Grebe back in Portland Harbour, 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Ferrybridge, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Avalanche Road and 5 Purple Sandpipers at the Bill. Two Pomarine Skuas passed through on the sea at the Bill.

The handful of immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs did include singles of Cosmopolitan and Radford's Flame Shoulder.

Black Brants have become quite a winter staple at Ferrybridge so today's new arrival will likely prove to be a long-stayer © Pete Saunders:

Long-tailed Tits were putting on a good show at Southwell again today © Debby Saunders: 

30th October

A rather typical end of the autumn clear day with a trickle of visible passage but not very much grounded. The pick of the visible migrants over the Bill were 50 Redpolls, 20 Siskins, 15 Bramblings, 5 Fieldfares, 3 Golden Plover, 3 Snipe and 3 Hawfinches amongst the lightish passage of Wood Pigeons and commoner thrushes and finches. On the ground the Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Broadcroft Quarry, at least 7 Bullfinches were at the Bill and single Siberian Chiffchaffs were at the Bill and Sweethill but there were no great numbers or variety of more routine migrants. Odds and ends through off the Bill included 3 Brent Geese, 2 Wigeon and a Red-throated Diver.

We're sure the regularly reappearing one-footed Grey Plover at Ferrybridge would rather have a full foot complement but it seems to be getting by perfectly well © Pete Saunders:

29th October

Overnight cloud didn't do the trick today and for the most part it was noticeably quiet both overhead and on the ground. Apart for the almost expected spread of Yellow-browed Warblers - 2 were at Broadcroft and singles at Blacknor and Church Ope Cove - the main feature of the day was an arrival of shorter distance wanderers, with 11 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Bullfinches and a Treecreeper at the Bill and several more parties of Long-tailed Tits and single Bullfinches scattered widely elsewhere. Other oddities included at least 14 Firecrests dotted about the island, single Hawfinches at East Weare and Reforne, single Ring Ouzels at Pennsylvania Castle and East Weare, a Siberian Chiffchaff at Bottomcombe, singles of Black Redstart and Mistle Thrush at the Bill and a late Sand Martin at Bumpers Lane. A notable concentration of 70 Goldcrests and 20 Chiffchaffs was discovered at East Weare, but for the most part commoner migrants weren't particularly plentiful anywhere.

On a cold and windy night the immigrant moth tally dropped to just 6 Silver Y, 2 Vestal and singles of Rusty-dot Pearl and Delicate.

A couple of nice little video clips of the Broadcroft Yellow-browed Warbler and the Bottomcombe Siberian Chiffchaff © Dave Foot:

One of a party of Long-tailed Tits at Southwell © Debby Saunders:

And one of the wintering Purple Sandpipers back at the Bill tip © Roger Hewitt:

28th October

Once an early pulse of visible passage had fizzled out an unwelcome end of the season feel begun to descend on proceedings: the clear, cold night had seen to it that grounded arrivals were in short supply, whilst the impressive off-passage gatherings of the likes of Meadow Pipits and Linnets that have been a feature for so long are gradually dwindling away. It was overhead passage that accounted for all the numbers today, with 2000 Wood Pigeons, 46 Redpolls, 45 Redwings, 16 Fieldfares, 11 Bramblings and a Mistle Thrush amongst the pulse of movement over the Bill in the morning. Goldcrests looked to account for the bulk of the new arrivals on the ground, with 25 at the Bill and a fair spread elsewhere; 8 Firecrests, 4 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Bullfinches, 2 Black Redstarts and a Woodlark were the best of the scarce migrants at the Bill, with a Yellow-browed Warbler also remaining at Avalanche Road.

Nor surprisingly, moth numbers took a tumble overnight with 9 Silver Y, 5 Rusty-dot Pearl, 4 Pearly Underwing, 4 Cosmopolitan, 3 Delicate, 2 Vestal, 2 Dark Sword Grass and a White-speck constituting the immigrant tally at the Obs.

Redpolls have begun to feature quite well in the morning flurries of finches - it'll be interesting to discover where the two birds that were trapped at the Bill yesterday and found to be bearing rings from elsewhere hailed from. This bird today dropped in at Southwell © Debby Saunders:

And back to yesterday for a photo we quite liked but didn't notice it time to include on the blog posting - these Ring Ouzels were in Top Fields © Simon Colenutt thedeskboundbirder:

27th October

Overcast conditions overnight had seen plenty more migrants audible over the Bill but by dawn the sky had cleared and numbers were well down on yesterday. That said, there was still plenty about both overhead and on the ground, with single Yellow-browed Warblers at Sweethill and Bumpers Lane, 2 Lapland Buntings over the Bill, a Siberian Chiffchaff still around at the Obs and a Hawfinch over Verne Common providing the best of the interest, whilst less frequent migrants at the Bill included 14 Long-tailed Tits, 10 Firecrests, 6 Ring Ouzels, 6 Bearded Tits, 4 Black Redstarts and singles of Dartford Warbler, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting. Visible passage over the Bill included another 1200 Wood Pigeons, 35 Redpolls, 15 Bramblings and the first 2 Fieldfares of the autumn amongst the usual late October suspects, whilst on the ground there a decent little arrival included the likes of 30 each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, and 25 Blackcaps.

A female Vagrant Emperor showed up several times during the afternoon in the Bumpers Lane area.

The overnight immigrant moth list at the Obs included 36 Rusty-dot Pearl, 27 Silver Y, 5 Delicate, 3 each of Dark Sword Grass and Radford's Flame Shoulder, 2 each of Spanish Dot, Rush Veneer, Olive-tree Pearl, Pearly Underwing and White-speck, and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Vestal and Red Admiral butterfly.

An event that ended up taking up rather more time and attention today than it perhaps deserved was the eventual identification of this Reed Warbler at Culverwell  © Ted Pressey:

When first discovered it was thought possibly to be a Marsh Warbler but by the time we arrived to have a look the gathering crowd had Blyth's Reed in mind: tacking calls were believed to have been heard, tail cocking had apparently been frequently observed and the ID was most of the way there. We can't say we were overly impressed with the plumage as there looked to be obvious Blyth's Reed anomalies such as the warmth of the flanks and the lack of rusty edges to the primaries; however, with nets to keep an eye on elsewhere we weren't able to give the bird much time and were confident that before long it would be netted anyway (there'd been a ringing session going on at Culverwell throughout the unfolding event but somehow the bird had thus far managed to avoid being caught). Considering that the ID was far from certain we certainly weren't going to put any news out about the bird and so were very surprised when - long after the nets had been closed with the bird still untrapped - the news services begun to report it as a probable Blyth's Reed. Another trapping tactic was clearly necessary to resolve the issue and this time it didn't take too long before it was in the hand where it was immediately apparent that it was a pretty ordinary-looking Reed Warbler © Martin Cade::

We're guessing the sequence of events here mirrored those that occurred recently on the Isles of Scilly with a Reed/Blyth's Reed: once a seed has been sown it's very easy to get carried along and see what you want to see rather than what's actually in front of your eyes.

26th October

The murk and drizzle that quickly reappeared overnight resulted in some seriously strong overhead passage and at dawn it was quickly apparent that the island was awash with downed and overflying migrants. As usual, the Bill area got the most extensive coverage and returned totals that included 1300 Linnets, 300 Song Thrushes, 250 Skylarks, 200 Blackbirds, 150 each of Redwing and Chaffinch, 100 Goldcrests, 75 each of Stonechat and Siskin, 70 Chiffchaffs, 50 each of Blackcap and Redpoll, 35 Bramblings, 30 Reed Buntings, 12 Ring Ouzels, 12 Firecrests and 10 Wheatears, with 4 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 3 Woodlarks, 2 each of Merlin, Black Redstart and Mistle Thrush, and singles of Richard's Pipit, Bearded Tit, Hawfinch and Yellowhammer amongst the miscellany of lower totals. Yesterday's Radde's Warblers was still at Bumpers Lane at dawn but couldn't be found thereafter, whilst coverage of other sites around the centre of the island turned up a good selection of scarcer migrants that included 7 Yellow-browed Warblers, 4 Hawfinches, 3 Ring Ouzels, 2 more Siberian Chiffchaffs, the same or another Richard's Pipit (over Avalanche Road) and another Bearded Tit.

The immigrant moth highlight was a Crimson Speckled discovered by day on the Slopes at the Bill; overnight trapping was a tad less exciting than had been anticipated given the mild, murky conditions, with the Obs totals consisting of 18 Rusty-dot Pearl, 9 Red Admiral butterlies, 8 Silver Y, 2 Rush Veneer and singles of Diamond-back Moth, Vestal, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Dark Sword Grass, Pearly Underwing, Delicate, Cosmopolitan and Radford's Flame Shoulder.

As already mentioned, overnight audible passage was at times prodigiously strong and we were fortunate that Joe Stockwell had recording equipment deployed all night at the Obs. Joe's totals (of calls logged) were 4600 Song Thrushes, 3342 Redwings, 370 Blackbirds, 155 Robins, 8 Ring Ouzels, 7 Meadow Pipits, 5 Dunlin, 4 Golden Plover, 2 Redshanks, 1 Woodcock, 1 Skylark and 1 Reed Bunting, with this little sample recording giving some idea of the volume of passage at its peak after midnight:

...and here's one of the Ring Ouzels calling just before midnight:

Amongst the host of birds about today only the Richard's Pipit was actually new for the year - it flew over the Bill a couple of times where it was both photographed and sound recorded and it or another later flew over at Avalanche Road © Joe Stockwell:

Yellow-browed Warblers were showing nicely at Southwell © Debby Saunders (upper photo) and Pete Saunders (lower photo):

Ring Ouzels were quite numerous for the first time this autumn - this one was in the beach hut fields at the Bill © Roger Hewitt:

Redpolls also returned their highest total of the autumn to date - this one was at Culverwell © Debby Saunders:

As a sad reflection on their demise at Portland this Yellowhammer was one of the most appreciated in-hand birds of the day © Martin Cade:

In the pretty stakes there could only be one winner - the Crimson Speckled found on the Slopes at the Bill © Martin Cade:

And finally, we don't really want to get mired in the slightly tiresome subject of what constitutes a Siberian Chiffchaff but are we right in understanding that the latest thoughts are that something that looks more or less like this 'Common' Chiffchaff from today...

...is not with certainty distinguishable from these (two of the four) 'Siberian' Chiffchaffs also from today?

We think we're reading the research rightly and it seems that either just might have a few genes from the other in its system so we might as well forget about trying to identify them for certain without recourse to taking a blood sample (feathers alone aren't good enough). We did have a little meander about in the Ural Mountains a few years ago and despite paying close attention to the vocalisations and appearance of a lot of Siberian Chiffchaffs there we didn't hear a mixed singer or see anything that looked much different to our birds today so we must have been unlucky in not tapping into the host of genetically intermediate birds there that just might be making a B line for Britain every autumn.

25th October

An absolutely ripping day to be out and about around the island with bags of visible migration, a decent rarity and a nice selection of island scarcities...oh, and good dragonflies to boot. Once again, the weather forecast was well wide of the mark and although a dreary gloom continued to envelope the island through the morning, by the afternoon blazing sun had broken through and it was feeling positively hot. The rarity of the day was the autumn's second Radde's Warbler that showed up off Bumpers Lane, but a nice supporting cast included at least 8 Bearded Tits, 7 Hawfinches and a Siberian Chiffchaff at the Bill, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and 3 Hawfinches dotted around Southwell and a Siberian Chiffchaff at Bumpers Lane. Overhead passage accounted for the bulk of the numbers, with a strong southbound passage over the Bill that included 1700 Wood Pigeons, 1000 each of Linnet and Goldfinch, 450 Chaffinches, 150 Skylarks, 110 Siskins, 100 Reed Buntings, 25 Greenfinches, 12 Bramblings, 8 Redpolls and 3 Merlins. It was considerably quieter on the ground although there were again several decent concentrations of Chiffchaffs in particular in areas of cover; the Firecrest tally at the Bill crept back up into double figures, with 3 Bullfinches, 2 Black Redstarts and a Great Spotted Woodpecker of note there, whilst elsewhere 2 Ring Ouzels were at Kingbarrow Quarry. The sea got very little attention but 4 Great Skuas and an Arctic Tern did make the list at the Bill; the very long staying Eider was also still in Portland Harbour.

In the insect line, Vagrant Emperor dragonflies at Bumpers Lane (a female) and Shepherd's Dinner (a male) were a fine highlight; additionally, there were inconclusive brief sightings of large dragonflies presumed to Vagrant Emperors at Wallsend and Southwell Business Park. In the afternoon sunshine a good deal of butterfly emigration was evident, with a steady southbound procession of Red Admirals everywhere and 2 Clouded Yellows through south at the Bill. It had remained very windy overnight and immigrant moth interest didn't get beyond the level of singles of Convolvulus Hawkmoth and Cosmopolitan trapped by visitors at Freshwater Bay.

Seven of Portland's ten previous Radde's Warblers have been first found in a mist-net so today's Bumpers Lane bird was a nice in-field discovery © Joe Stockwell:

The Bearded Tits did their usual Portland thing of dropping into unlikely habitat...

...although it wasn't long before they moved into one of the maize strips - our nearest reedbed equivalent - where six of them were duly trapped; five of the six were metal- and colour-ringed and we understand they originate from RSPB Radipole (as did also the ringed bird we controlled earlier in the month) © Martin Cade:

Black Redstarts have been a bit slow to get going this month but are beginning to become a feature around the Bill tip © Mark Eggleton:

It was a source of some frustration that not one of the series of Vagrant Emperor sightings back in the early spring was supported by a photograph so it very pleasing that both of today's insects obliged; the male at Shepherd's Dinner stayed just long enough for both settled and flying images:

...although the Bumpers Lane female was less obliging © Joe Stockwell: 

And finally, back to gulls again. We were interested to see the difference in state of moult between our 'black-and-white' Lesser Black-backed Gull from a couple of days ago and the next two intermedius that we had a look at below Culverwell: both these were far more advanced and already had streaky winter heads and plenty of newly moulted primaries © Martin Cade:

24th October

The weather forecasters seem to have been unduly optimistic when it comes to wind strength so far this week, with it remaining far brisker than's conducive to easy birding. That said, most of today's indications were that it was relatively quiet on the ground: the well-sheltered spots up the island did host fair numbers of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests - along with a total of 5 Yellow-browed Warblers (2 at Sweethill, 2 at Avalanche Road and 1 at Pennsylvania Castle) - but these and other late fare weren't so well represented at the Bill as they've been lately; a handful of Firecrests were lingering on everywhere although, for example, they'd dropped below double figures at the Bill for the first time since the influx early last week, but the only real oddity making the list was yet another Hawfinch that lingered around the Bill for the best part of the day. Of further note at the Bill was an obvious influx of Rock Pipits that included 38 at the Bill tip alone. The stiff wind didn't do much for the sea, with 2 Great Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver, Tufted Duck and Arctic Skua the best off the Bill.

Even with the unhelpful strength of the wind it was clear that there'd been a decent overnight arrival of immigrant moths, with 7 Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 each of Cosmopolitan, Radford's Flame Shoulder and Silver Y, and singles of Rush Veneer, Delicate, Clancy's Rustic, Scarce Bordered Straw and Small Marbled trapped at the Obs.

Despite the frequency with which Hawfinches have been logged in the last fortnight or so this afternoon's bird was only second during the period that's been trapped and ringed © Andrew Slade:

23rd October

Such was the gloom and the strength of the wind today - that saw to it that birds just weren't showing themselves very well - that it seemed to be underappreciated by many fieldworkers that there was actually a good spread of new arrivals around. The strength of overnight thrush passage had certainly indicated there was lots on the move but at dawn it was Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests that made up the bulk of what had dropped in, whilst finches featured quite well as the morning wore on; scarcer migrants included 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at Southwell and 3 Hawfinches and 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs at the Bill, with perhaps as many as 20 Firecrests also still about at the Bill (together with a few more in other spots that were checked). A steady passage of small flocks of Kittiwakes developed off the Bill as the day went on but 23 Brent Geese, 3 Great Skuas and 2 Arctic Skuas were the only other birds of note on the sea there. Elsewhere, a Knot was at Ferrybridge where the Dark-bellied Brent Goose flock numbered 1050 (including just 1 juvenile) and the Pale-bellied Brents increased to 3.

A meagre overnight catch of moths at the Obs did include a modest increase in immigrants: 10 Rusty-dot Pearl, 3 Vestals and singles of Delicate and Silver Y.

Were it not for the fact that we've had genetic confirmation of birds like this in the past we'd have been a bit hesitant that the day's first Siberian Chiffchaff - a very swarthy-looking bird with somewhat inferior bare-part colouration - really was one, even though it stood out like a sore thumb amongst the greener Common Chiffchaffs being handled at the moment © Martin Cade:

...the day's second looked more typical (...is there such a thing?) and called the part as well © Joe Stockwell:

This is the time of year when the occasional really striking black-and-white Lesser Black-backed Gull drops in amongst the loafing gulls at the Bill. We've been seeing the occasional 'normal' intermedius Lesser Black-back for several weeks - they've all had rather obvious signs of moult (streaking on the head, extensive wing moult etc) in contrast to these late arrivals that look to be largely or completely unmoulted and presumably originate from much further north © Martin Cade:

22nd October

Although the wind had dropped significantly it was still far too strong to permit easy coverage of the land, with the shift into the dreaded northwest ensuring there was an abrupt end to sea interest. Visible passage was actually quite strong, with a steady movement of departing Wood Pigeons, Starlings and Chaffinches over and offshore at the Bill; Siskins were also well represented but, as with the commoner species, their passage wasn't fully quantified. Fieldwork on the land did uncover a few patches where Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and 'crests were quite numerous, with 11 Firecrests at Pennsylvania Castle and at least another 10 still around the Obs; single Yellow-browed Warblers at Sweethill and Penn's Weare were the only oddities discovered, with 2 Black Redstarts at the Bill also of minor note. Odds and ends logged by the seawatchers included singles of Great Northern Diver, Storm Petrel, Great Skua and Arctic Skua through off the Bill, whilst the Pale-bellied Brent Goose and singles of Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit were at Ferrybridge.

Two Vestals were the only immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs.

The Pale-bellied Brent with a Dark-bellied Brent at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders:

21st October

A very stormy day that came up with some of the hoped-for rewards on the sea. Chesil Cove was always going to be the favourite watch-point and plenty of coverage returned totals of at least 11 Great Skuas, 11 Arctic Skuas, 4 Leach's Petrels, 4 Manx Shearwaters and singles of Long-tailed Duck and Grey Phalarope; additionally, singles of Leach's Petrel, Storm Petrel, Arctic Skua and Arctic Tern passed through at Ferrybridge, a Leach's Petrel lingered for a short while in Portland Harbour and 2 Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and an Arctic Tern passed through off the Bill. There was precious little coverage of the land but a Wryneck was an unexpected newcomer in the Obs Quarry, several Firecrests were still about the Bill and singles of Merlin and Black Redstart also made the list there.

After yesterday's very disappointing moth-trap returns an even windier night last night appeared to offer no hope so it was quite a surprise when the immigrant haul at the Obs included 11 Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 Vestals and singles of Spanish Dot Antigastra catalaunalis, Pearly Underwing and Small Mottled Willow.

Although they rarely linger for long, Ferrybridge is often the best spot to get good views of petrels during late autumn storms and this morning both Leach's and Storm Petrel obliged © Pete Saunders:

This Arctic Tern also passed through there © Debby Saunders:

On the moth front we were very pleased to find in one of the Obs traps this morning another leggy catalaunalis which has always been a favourite of ours. When we trapped our first in the fantastic October immigration of 1995 it was a really crippling UK rarity but subsequently suffered a steep decline in grip value, mainly by virtue of a big influx in 2006 when every Tom, Dick and Harry trapped them all over southern England (we caught 11 at the Obs alone); another good arrival of them in recent days suggests they're going the way of so many other once high value rarities and are almost to be expected during episodes of late autumn immigration © Martin Cade:

20th October

Pretty much all change with the weather and the birding today...and mostly not for the better. With the best part of a gale force westerly blowing at dawn it was always going to be difficult getting amongst what was about but eventually a few morsels of interest did make the day's list: single Yellow-browed Warblers were at Sweethill and Avalanche Road, a lone Black Redstart was at the Bill, a Ring Ouzel was at Suckthumb Quarry, at least 3 Hawfinches put in brief appearances at Pennsylvania Castle/Perryfields and a Green Woodpecker was at the Grove Stadium; inevitably there was also still a good spread of Firecrests, with about 40 spread widely around the centre and south of the island. Routine passage more or less fizzled out, with Swallows the only passing migrants in any numbers overhead and grounded numbers reduced to a fraction of what they'd been in recent days. The sea was well watched at times but produced little more than singles of Balearic Shearwater and Sooty Shearwater through off the Bill.

The less said about the overnight moth catch the better, with scarcely a shred of evidence that yesterday's immigration episode had ever happened.

19th October

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 21st October.

A fantastic migration day that was only slightly spoilt by the necessity to have access to several changes of clothes: such was the frequency of the rain bands that precipitated repeated arrivals of migrants through the day that drenchings were an inevitable inconvenience for those that were sticking it out for their rewards in the field. The main feature of the day was a strong passage of thrushes and finches that were arriving in off the sea and tailing away to north over the Bill; Chaffinches were dominant, with the total of c1000 logged on the day sheet considered a huge underestimate with many flocks passing during spells of heavy rain and others so high overhead that they were only audible rather than visible. Oddities tagging along with the movement included at least 13 Hawfinches at the Bill and another 2 at Blacknor, as well as singles of Ring Ouzel, Mistle Thrush and Yellowhammer over the Bill and another 2 Ring Ouzels further up the island. Another nice fall-out on the ground included 150 Chiffchaffs, 100 Goldcrests and 40 Firecrests at the Bill, where a new Red-breasted Flycatcher zipping around the Obs/hut fields area during the afternoon was the best of the scarcities that also included 6 Black Redstarts there and another 2 at Reap Lane and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Southwell.

A new incursion of moth immigrants was most unexpected, coming as it did in the wake of a few seemingly much more promising nights that - with a couple of notable exceptions - had been low on both numbers and quality. Overnight totals from the Obs traps included 139 Rusty-dot Pearl, 23 Vestal, 10 Delicate, 8 Rush Veneer, 5 Silver Y, 4 Dark Sword Grass and singles of Olive-tree Pearl, Radford's Flame Shoulder, Scarce Bordered Straw, Small Marbled and Small Mottled Willow, with lower totals of a similar variety from the other trap sites. Local scarcities included singles of Merveille du Jour at the Obs and Autumnal Rustic at the Grove, whilst unseasonable singles of Yellow Belle at the Obs and Galium Carpet at Duncecroft Quarry were of interest.

Despite the rain and freshening wind this afternoon's Red-breasted Flycatcher put on a reasonable show © Martin King (top), Tony Hovell (middle) and Martin Cade (bottom):

Yellow-browed Warblers are finally beginning to show up in what in the past has been one of their more favoured haunts in the gardens on the south side of Southwell © Pete Saunders: 

Even after all these years we still succumb to child-like enthusiasm when it comes to spells of moth immigration and, on getting back to the Obs to churn through some more admin yesterday evening and discovering that the traps were festooned with Vestals and Rusty-dot Pearls decided to fuel up a generator and head off to Duncecroft Quarry for a few hours. Sadly, it seems as though Portland was well to the east of the main thrust of longer-range vagrancy and, rarity-wise, the island garnered only the sweepings from the Cornish table, with a Small Marbled at the Obs about as good as it got © Martin Cade:

A fringe benefit of being out for a few hours during the night was that we were able to tap into plenty of overhead audible passage; thrushes in particular were prominent and there was the usual miscellany of waders that included this flock of Greenshanks that headed north over the Obs when we popped back there to check the traps