12th October

Being connoisseurs of lacklustre conditions the recent mediocrity inflicted on us has hardly come as a surprise; today, though, was a different kettle of fish and for some while had looked to be the day that might come up with the goods. A gentle southwesterly and decent cloud cover ahead of an oncoming weather front made for easy birding and it wasn't long before a Red-breasted Flycatcher showed up in the Obs mist-nets; in quick time, a Rustic Bunting was latched on to as it made its way northward over the Slopes, before the action switched back to the Obs where a Radde's Warbler found its way into the nets just before the onset of the rain. In the circumstances, back-ups to further burnish proceedings were hardly required but a great little seawatch ticked over all day, a nice pulse of visible passage was evident before the rain and the likes of 4 Yellow-browed Warblers (2 at the Obs and singles at Avalanche Road and the Grove) were on hand to provide further entertainment. The seawatch totals included 1000 auks, 800 Gannets, 600 Kittiwakes, 86 Common Scoter, 11 Arctic Skuas, 4 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 4 Teal, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Skuas and a Pomarine Skua, whilst the vismig tally included 178 Siskins, 14 Crossbills, a Grey Plover and a Woodlark. The scarcities aside, the land was the poor relation with relatively low numbers of grounded migrants amongst which singles of Ring Ouzel and Mistle Thrush (at the Bill and Blacknor respectively) were of note. 

Portland's twelfth Radde's Warbler © Joe Stockwell...

...and the Red-breasted Flycatcher © Martin Cade:

Sadly, the Rustic Bunting was not nearly so obliging © Joe Stockwell:

Grey Plover and Woodlark were amongst the vismig oddities over the Bill © Joe Stockwell: