22nd – On a day of freshening southerlies there was a fair bit more sea passage and a very small but nonetheless welcome increase in grounded migrants, amongst which the chief prizes were singles of Pallas’s Warbler at the RN Cemetery and Yellow-browed Warbler and ‘eastern’ Chiffchaff at Lancridge, all found late in the afternoon. The sea came up with the day’s numbers, with 14 Great Skuas, 8 Arctic Skuas, 5 Pomarine Skuas and a Red-breasted Merganser passing by the Bill amongst another steady movement of Kittiwakes and auks. On the ground there was a small increase in the likes of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests everywhere, along with 4 Black Redstarts (2 at Southwell and 2 at the Bill) and 2 Firecrests (at the Bill and Easton). Overhead a Woodlark over the centre of the island was the pick of an otherwise light passage of Skylarks and miscellaneous finches. Two Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Rush Veneer, Pearly Underwing and Silver Y were the only immigrants in the Obs garden moth-traps this morning.
23rd – A mild but much too windy day for easy birding on the land saw the Yellow-browed Warbler and ‘eastern’ Chiffchaff remain at Lancridge but a late afternoon Snow Bunting at the Bill was the only other noteworthy back-up to put in an appearance. The sea was again worth some time, with 7 Great Skuas, 6 Arctic Skuas, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, a Curlew and a Pomarine Skua through off the Bill, whilst Ferrybridge is getting busier, with singles of Black Brant and Pale-bellied Brent Goose amongst 360 brents. Coverage of the land came up with single Merlins at the Bill, Verne Common and Portland Castle, and singles of Mistle Thrush and Firecrest at the Bill. The immigrant tally in the Obs garden moth-traps consisted of just 3 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Rush Veneer, Pearly Underwing and Silver Y.
24th – The stiff south-easterlies continued and the promised rain eventually arrived during the afternoon. The Yellow-browed Warbler was still at Lancridge, but otherwise the best on offer on the land were a Snow Bunting found at the end of the afternoon on the West Cliffs near Priory Corner and singles of Merlin and Black Redstart at the Bill. Ferrybridge came up with 1460 Dark-bellied Brents, 4 Pale-bellied Brents and 2 Black Brants, whilst 24 Black-headed Gulls and a Great Skua passed through on the sea at the Bill. Immigrants in the Obs garden moth-traps this morning: 5 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Pearly Underwing and Silver Y.
25th – Quite a change in the weather today with much less wind but more frequent showers rolling in off the Channel. The Lancridge Yellow-browed Warbler remained, a/the Snow Bunting finally gave itself up at the Bill, 2 Black Brants were again at Ferrybridge and there was a decent south-westerly passage of 750 Skylarks off Chesil Cove, but on the ground there was precious little more by way of routine fare than in recent days. Scarcer migrants included 3 Firecrests around the centre of the island and another at Verne Common, a Ring Ouzel at Verne Common and singles of Merlin, Woodlark and Black Redstart at the Bill. Offshore, 2 Little Gulls were at Chesil Cove and a Great Crested Grebe passed through off the Bill. Two Rusty-dot Pearl and a Silver Y were the only immigrants caught overnight in the Obs garden moth-traps
26th – Lots more hefty showers today and, with the exception of a Siberian Chiffchaff fresh in at Southwell, very little new to report. A thin scatter of warblers and ‘crests included a Firecrest at the Grove, whilst regulars included a Merlin at the Bill and 4 Pale-bellied Brents and 2 Black Brants at Ferrybridge. Yet another Flame Brocade was the pick of the overnight moth catch at the Obs, where the rest of the immigrant tally consisted of 4 Silver Y and singles of Rusty-dot Pearl, Rush Veneer and Dark Sword Grass.
27th – Despite it not raining for quite so long as we’d been anticipating most of the morning was a wash-out and meaningful fieldwork was pretty restricted. Two Black Brants were again at Ferrybridge, whilst odd new arrivals at the Bill included 2 Bramblings and singles of Brent Goose, Golden Plover, Wheatear, Redwing and Goldcrest; elsewhere there were singles of Wheatear and Black Redstart at Portland Castle. The only report from the sea was of a lone Arctic Skua through off the Bill. Five Rusty-dot Pearl and 3 Dark Sword Grass made up the immigrant tally in the Obs garden moth-traps.
28th – What a difference a day makes, with yesterday’s rain replaced by sunny skies and summer-like warmth. There was a noticeable improvement on the migrant front without there being any great highlights: Goldcrests, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were all more numerous than of late, although thrushes in particular remained much less of a feature than they usually are at this time. The best that could be mustered from plenty of fieldwork on the ground were 4 Short-eared Owls and singles of Grey Heron, Merlin, Water Rail and Black Redstart at the Bill and another Black Redstart at the Grove; overhead at the Bill, 120 Wood Pigeons and 3 Mistle Thrushes were amongst an otherwise small passage of routine fare. Immigrant moth numbers also improved, with 6 Rusty-dot Pearl, 5 Pearly Underwing, 4 each of Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y, 2 Delicate and singles of Rush Veneer and Flame Brocade making up the tally at the Obs; additionally a Cosmopolitan was caught by a visting moth-trapper at the Coastguard Cottages at the Bill.