10th September

A welcome quietening down in the weather brought an end to our recent all too long migfast (...great term, many thanks to whoever coined/corrupted that one) and saw birds get moving in fair numbers and, as befits mid-September, much improved variety. Singles of Icterine Warbler and Cetti's Warbler were nice scarcities, whilst a fall of 50 Robins at the Bill was, by recent standards, noteworthy for being so early in the season. A surprise event considering what looked to be wholly unsuitable conditions was an arrival of immigrant insects: the few moth-traps that had been left on were busy with Rush Veneers in particular, whilst by day there was a noticeable increase Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow and Hummingbird Hawkmoth numbers.

Portland Bill
Grounded migrants Wheatear 90, Robin 50, Blackcap 30, Willow Warbler 20, Chiffchaff 10, Whinchat 9, Whitethroat 5, Lesser Whitethroat 5, Pied Flycatcher 3, Spotted Flycatcher 3, Garden Warbler 2, with singles including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler and Icterine Warbler.
Visible passage Swallow 500, Meadow Pipit 130, Sand Martin 100, House Martin 75, Yellow Wagtail 30, Grey Wagtail 24, Chaffinch 10, Tree Pipit 6.
Sea passage Arctic Skua 2w, Balearic Shearwater 1w.

Pied Flycatcher 4, Siskin 3, Goldcrest 1.

Selected immigrants Obs: Rush Veneer 95, Rusty-dot Pearl 29, Silver Y 12, Turnip 11, Pearly Underwing 10, Convolvulus Hawkmoth 1, Dark Sword Grass 1, Delicate 1, Bordered Straw 1.

Today's Icterine Warbler - you don't usually get to appreciate from field views just how broad-based the bill of a Hippolais warbler is © Martin Cade:

With an all-time total of 16 ringed before today, Cetti's Warbler is a rather higher-value in-hand bird at Portland than Icterine Warbler - today's Icterine was the 48th ringed here © Martin Cade:

One of a good total of 5 Lesser Whitethroats logged at the Bill today © Roger Hewitt:

Finally, a sad footnote to the day: we've just read of the recent passing of Iain Robertson who was PBO warden between 1975 and 1978; the writer of these notes will be forever grateful for Iain's unfailing support and encouragement in his junior years - many thanks Iain, it was much appreciated.

Iain Robertson with a Wryneck, PBO, 24th April 1976 © Steve Gantlett: