23rd August

Plenty of variety if not - Swallows excepted - that much by way of numbers today. The Swallows - many hundreds were on the move over Ferrybridge and at the Bill - were making the most of a clear sky and lovely warm sunshine to move ahead of a change in the weather pattern that looked to be manifesting itself late in the day as dark clouds built up only a little way out in the Channel; also on the move overhead were several Sparrowhawks, with 1 through at Ferrybridge and 3 through over the Bill. Grounded nocturnal migrants weren't so plentiful but did include an early first Firecrest of the autumn, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Whinchats and singles of Common Sandpiper, Redstart and Grasshopper Warbler dotted about the centre and south of the island amongst a fair spread of more routine fare. At Ferrybridge, Ringed Plovers again dominated the wader tally, reaching 212. The sea was more poorly covered than of late, with 4 Arctic Skuas the best of what was detected in short watches from the Bill.

Wader numbers are impressive at Ferrybridge at the moment © Pete Saunders:

One of the day's Pied Flycatchers - this one was at Sweethill © Debby Saunders:

Migrant moths have been oddly low in both numbers and variety in recent nights; not that it's been that duff what with several Porter's Rustics and the like logged but these aren't really the sort of things that we make a big deal about reporting in a hurry these days. Excitement levels changed this morning though when this Rest Harrow showed up in one of the Obs traps - for sure the first record for Portland and possibly even the first for Dorset; confined as a resident in Britain to the far southeast corner, the odd presumed immigrant specimens do turn up a little further afield from time to time so it was something we'd always hoped would one day pitch up at Portland © Martin Cade: