30th September

Hardly a day to remember but there were encouraging hints of passage picking up just a little, most notably in the form a decent spread of Chiffchaffs just about everywhere. A Wryneck at Easton was as good as it got in the scarcity line although in this day and age a Turtle Dove at the Bill was of almost the same status. The Chiffchaff tally at the Bill reached a good 50, with plenty more in most areas of cover around the centre of the island; at least new Great Spotted Woodpeckers pitched in at the Bill but, bar the now ubiquitous flocks of off-passage Meadow Pipits, there were no other notable concentrations of grounded migrants. Visible passage of Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Siskins got off to a good start in the clear skies after dawn but fizzled out as soon as thick cloud rolled in from the north before mid-morning.

Although we're always quick to deride the national news services for putting out reports of the likes of single Black Redstarts and Firecrests from southern coastal headlands - since when have they been even faintly unexpected migrants anywhere other than at places that don't get any birds anyway? - we can certainly understand why every migrant Turtle Dove is now being reported. The writer of these notes dipped this one and still hasn't seen one at Portland this year - his memories of flushing flocks of 50 in Top Fields when he was a kid are also getting hazier by the year © Roger Hewitt: 

Considering the dearth of grounded migrants generally, Spotted Flycatchers have been surprisingly conspicuous at the Obs, albeit only in low numbers; this one was there a couple of days go © Dave Sawyer: