20th August

The toil for a scrap of quality continued and looked to have nearly had some reward this morning when a Hippolais warbler showed up in the Obs Quarry; sadly, however, it proved to be extremely elusive and although Melodious was suspected the views were not quite clinching before it vanished. Commoner migrants were a tad more numerous, with 25 Willow Warblers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Yellow-legged Gull and the first Redstart of the season amongst the tally from the Bill/Southwell and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Greenshank at best from Ferrybridge. With the huge numbers of gulls that had been offshore for several weeks having now looked to have moved on the sea has become noticeably less noisy and at the same time also conspicuously underwhelming in terms of movement, with little more than 13 Common Scoter and singles of Manx Shearwater and Balearic Shearwater through off the Bill.

Another 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths were the pick of the overnight moth catch at the Obs.

Even a godforsakenly windswept spot like Portland is absolutely swathed in leaves at this time of year that makes for frustrating migrant-hunting, when even normally showy things like Spotted Flycatchers can be really tricky to get to grips with © Peter Saunders: