23rd October

An excellent day for Woodpigeons; the totals of which reached 510 visible migrants. Stock Doves were also moving through with 87 passing by. Redwings, Bramblings, Siskins, Goldfinches and Linnets were also conspicuous although less so than in recent days. Birds of note included a single flyover Golden Plover, three Black Redstarts around the Bill area, a Common Redstart at Fancy's Farm, 8 Goldcrests within the Obs garden and Huts, and a lone Yellow-browed Warbler at Penn Castle was tied for highlight of the day with a pair of Yellowhammers (including an excellent male). 

Nick Hopper put in another stint recording nocturnal migrants for us on two consecutive nights starting on the 18th/19th with: 242 Redwing calls, 126 Song Thrush calls, 23 Blackbird calls, Meadow Pipit (a rare night caller), 2 Goldcrest, 2 Golden Plover, Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Snipe, 2 Black-headed Gull and Grey Heron. There was a little bit more quality on 19th/20th with a Gadwall being a surprise bird; a brief snatch of Cetti's Warbler song (a first nocturnal record for Portland) and a late Tree Pipit were also of note. Also logged were Ring Ouzel, 4 Fieldfare, 10 Blackbird, 182 Redwing calls, 59 Song Thrush calls, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Skylark, 2 Redshank, Golden Plover, Lapwing, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Black-headed Gull

At first hearing the calls of the Gadwall sound a lot like someone with a duck caller - it would have had to have been a very good one though as even the sonogram matches!

Black Redstart and Wheatear at the Bill today © Martin King: 

Not the day we were hoping for bird-wise but a pretty spectacular sunset kept everyone at the obs smiling © Martin King (top and middle) and Paul Hopwood (bottom):