23rd October

A southeasterly wind always gives encouragement but today it was always a bit too blustery to permit enjoyable fieldwork and interest dwindled faster than it perhaps ought to have done; had it not have dwindled for the majority they might have been out when the day's highlight - a Glossy Ibis that flew northwest over the Bill late in the afternoon - made its brief appearance. There were a few other new arrivals of note uncovered, notably a Yellow-browed Warbler at Reforne, the season's first Woodcock at Southwell and a new Ring Ouzel at the Bill, but grounded common migrants remained stubbornly few in number. Despite a largely clear sky overhead passage had very little momentum, with 780 Wood Pigeons, 578 Starlings, 390 Linnets and 132 Jackdaws the main constituents of what passage there was over the Bill. Two Red-throated Divers and an Arctic Skua passed by on the sea at the Bill.

We haven't been graced with the presence of anything like the number of Ring Ouzels that some other migration spots have been reported just lately but it has been a pleasure to have trapped three in recent days and get the opportunity to have such good looks at them © Martin Cade:

We had an arresting moment this morning when we were scanning through social media reports of migrant moths from around the country and were stopped in our tracks by a photograph of a moth reported to be a second for Britain that we immediately recognised: James Halsey had posted an image of a Cream Pearl Hodebertia testalis that he'd caught a couple of nights ago on the Isle of Wight; it took us just a moment to pop to the fridge where our specimen of what was clearly the same species was still languishing after being taken from one of our moth-traps at the Obs last Friday morning. Our moth had been part of a huge catch of migrants on that night; it bore some passing resemblance to a small, pale (and very late in the season) Mother of Pearl but it several respects it didn't seem quite right so was potted up for a later inspection that we still hadn't got round to. The only previous British record of testalis involved one on the Isles of Scilly in 2006 and we offer apologies to James (as well as thanks for his posting the photographs of his specimen) for gazumping him to the second by just a couple of nights © Martin Cade:

As we mentioned, last Friday morning's run through the moth-traps had been really exciting, with lovely specimens of Toadflax Pearl Antigastra catalaunalis and Vagrant Metal-mark Tebenna micalis amongst the huge catch of migrants...

...and the quality has continued even if the overall numbers have declined a little; this morning's migrant highlight was a Small Marbled...

...whilst yesterday there'd been a third record for the island in the form of a Flounced Chestnut from one of the Grove moth-traps © Martin Cade: