21st October

Another day of wild weather - long spells of heavy rain driven in on a southerly gale - didn't look to have anything much to offer by way of birding opportunities but ultimately delivered a few nice little morsels of quality. Despite being hugely blown-out there were migrants about on the land including an arrival of thrushes - 70 Redwings and 10 Fieldfares - around the top of the island (where there was also a late Tree Pipit) and odds and ends including a Firecrest, a late Reed Warbler and a Brambling at the Bill; a Black Redstart was also at Southwell. At sea, auks were passing at 1200-1500 per hour off the Bill, where 7 Velvet Scoters, 2 Arctic Skuas and singles of Manx Shearwater, Great Skua and Yellow-legged Gull also passed by; elsewhere, a Red-throated Diver passed Chesil Cove.

Overnight mothing was spoilt by the strength of the wind but immigrants were again in good supply, with a Blair's Wainscot at the Obs yet another new moth for the island; other totals from there included 54 Rush Veneer, 22 Rusty-dot Pearl, 17 Turnip, 8 Scarce Bordered Straw, 4 Silver Y and singles of Dark Sword Grass and Cosmopolitan.

Back to yesterday for news for an exciting moth discovered amongst the catch at the Obs: this rather undistinguished-looking noctuid was eventually tracked down as likely to be the Robust Tabby Pandesma robusta. It's a mainly African species that evidently also has a foothold in southern Iberia, some of the Mediterranean islands and the far south of Italy; other records in, for example, southern France are considered to refer to migrants. It appears on the British list by virtue of a few records of adventives imported with produce but, given the circumstances of its arrival with lots of other immigrants, we're guessing ours will be the first that's turned up under its own steam. Two firsts for Britain in a week - blimey! © Martin Cade: