15th October

Summer lingered on for another day although not before more cloud in the sky at dawn had offered some promise on the migrant front; sadly, this proved to be a false dawn and, with a few exceptions, migrant numbers were their lowest of the week. The Siberian Chiffchaff tally at the Obs increased to two and 4 Short-eared Owls, a Marsh Harrier, a Jack Snipe and a Dartford Warbler at the Bill, a Firecrest at Tilleycombe and a Black Redstart at Blacknor provided additional scarcity interest, but beyond a total of 40 Stonechats at the Bill there was precious little worth a comment on the ground; just into three figure totals of arriving Starlings and departing Wood Pigeons were of note overhead. Enormous numbers of large gulls - estimated at 7-8000 - were ashore on Chesil gorging on whitebait washed ashore, with more than 200 Kittiwakes and 100 Mediterranean Gulls lingering off the Bill perhaps also associated with this event; singles of Balearic Shearwater and Great Skua also passed by off the Bill.

A Vagrant Emperor dragonfly was seen in the Obs garden briefly during the afternoon.

We've mentioned this before but this autumn has thus far provided more evidence that the population(s) of Firecrests that we get passing through Portland have never fully recovered from the extraordinary events of October 2017 when, for whatever reason, there was a profound disruption of their usual migration pattern that led to unprecedented numbers pitching up at Portland (indeed today's the anniversary of 150 being logged at the Bill in that year). Today's Tilleycombe bird was only the third logged on the island so far this autumn © Joe Stockwell:

Although we didn't realise it at the time the Siberian Chiffchaff trapped at the Obs during the morning was a new arrival...

...later in the day the usually rather super-elusive lingerer appeared in its usual haunts and was revealed to be unringed © Martin Cade (photos and video) and Joe Stockwell (sound recording):