26th October


A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, 27th October.

We're very pleased to be able to announce the successful acquisition of another small parcel of land close to the Observatory. The two strips purchased at auction today supplement our purchase back in the summer of another 4 acres of this field that included the Obs Quarry itself.

An unusual day both weather and bird-wise. Squalls of heavy rain and thick cloud were interceded by periods of clear skies and strong wind. There appeared, at first glance, to have been a mass exodus of birds with very little moving overhead early on. However, a Barred Warbler in the first net round proved that at least something had slipped through in the night. The rest of the day proved an anti-climax with very little in the way of late autumn migrants with other highlights including a Lapland Bunting along the East Cliffs, a pair of Firecrests in the Obs Garden, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Penn Castle and the loitering pair of Ring Ouzels at the Verne. Other common migrants were limited to single figures.

The Barred Warbler trapped and ringed at the Obs early this morning © Martin Cade/Erin Taylor:

Some more Short-eared Owl action from recent days © Debby Saunders (top) and Paul Ward (bottom):

One of today's Ring Ouzels at the Verne © Trevor Wilkinson:

Despite this week's shift to clearer and much chillier nights mothing remains surprising productive with a decent variety of immigrants still on the wing. Last night's haul at the Obs included the second Cosmopolitan of the week and the 20th Radford's Flame Shoulder of the autumn but for us the highlight was two Oak Rustics - this recent colonisation of the South Coast has largely passed Portland by with our first and only other record occurring two years ago © Martin Cade: