5th October

A quick breather before the westerlies begin once more saw a relatively calm day at Portland as a gentle northerly, swinging to south easterly dominated the day. The land saw another decent passage of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps with the former making up a third of the day's ringing totals. A rather tardy Swift caused a ripple of excitement in the early evening but otherwise two Spotted Flycatchers, four Firecrests, five Reed Buntings and the first Great Spotted Woodpecker of the autumn were the highlights of the day. The sea was a hive of activity early on with 65 Balearic Shearwaters through in quick succession, accompanied by a Red-throated Diver, two Sandwich Terns and a lingering flock of 50 Mediterranean Gulls.

Chiffchaffs were in quantity literally everywhere - the clumps of still leafy trees were favoured but even sub-optimal spots held a few © JR Norris:

We've had no time to go through our own nocturnal recording attempts just lately so it's good that Nick Hopper is still able to make the occasional foray over to the Bill on what look like being the more promising nights. Nick's last session was on the night of 2nd/3rd October when the stand-out highlight was a Bittern; also logged were:

Ring Ouzel

Redwing 2

Song Thrush 52


Tree Pipit 3

Spotted Flycatcher 2

alba Wagtail

Meadow Pipit 4



Dunlin 2

Ringed Plover

Sandwich Tern flock

Black-headed Gull