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Today's rather measly list wasn't for want looking since there was a fair bit of weekend fieldwork but interest away from Ferrybridge was limited to a Sedge Warbler at the Bill and a Manx Shearwater through on the sea there. Ferrybridge still hosted a hatful of activity, notably including more than 200 Common Terns, but 2 Little Gulls were as good as it got in terms of quality
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On an otherwise largely rained off day Ferrybridge attracted provided most of the action that included good counts of 166 Common Terns and 122 Dunlin, with further variety there consisting of 2 Black-tailed Godwits and singles of Sanderling, Whimbrel and Little Gull. The combination of the rain and a fresh breeze looked to have some promise for the seawatchers but singles of Manx and Balearic Shearwater were all that could be mustered during the few spells that weren't spoilt by limited visibility.

Ferrybridge rarely disappoints in the rain and today mix of terns and waders provided a compelling spectacle. The Little Gull was thought to be the third different individual present there in recent days © Pete Saunders (settled) & Debby Saunders (flying):




Black-tailed Godwits have either got a lot more regular at Ferrybridge in recent years or the coverage there has improved and their often brief appearances are being picked up more often © Pete Saunders:

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The sporadic showers and overcast morning did nothing for a quiet and uneventful day that saw little movement on the land. Highlights from a much diminished sea included a loitering Arctic Skua, a small handful of Manx Shearwaters and 20 each of Common Terns, Mediterranean Gulls and Common Scoter. In non-avian news the first Common Darter of the year was seen around the Obs garden.
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Another hope-filled day as both Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler trapped in the Crown Estate Field nets heralded the beginnings of autumnal passage. A smattering of additional migrants included a Hawfinch at Oldhill, two new Blackcaps in Culverwell and a trickle of Swifts and Sand Martins. The sea was lively once again with a steady influx of common passage birds joined by 16 Balearic Shearwaters. Ferrybridge was also showing signs of life with a new Little Gull, 30+ Common Terns, 17 Dunlin and a flock of 7 Little Egrets.

In non -avian news the sea provided a host of marine species with a Compass Jellyfish off the West Cliffs as well as six of the Bottle-nosed Dolphin pod, four Harbour Porpoises and a Grey Seal.

The din of the Common Tern flock at Ferrybridge was almost loud enough to drown out the usual roar of the traffic ©Pete Saunders:



A freshly emerged second generation Small Copper from High Angle Battery ©Ken Dolbear:


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The weather's probably a tad too lovely just at the moment to expect much to be dropping in and, a few passing Sand Martins aside, passerine migrants didn't feature at all today. Singles of Lapwing and Dunlin overhead at the Bill constituted the only reports of note from the land, with 75 Mediterranean Gulls, 9 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Terns and a Yellow-legged Gull through or lingering offshore there.
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 Today was fairly unremarkable on the birding front. The only migrants noted were on the sea and the highlights were limited to a Balearic Shearwater and a Whimbrel.

The highlights from yesterday included the lingering Little Gull and a passage Greenshank ©Pete Saunders:



One of the Dark Green Fritillaries found its way into the obs garden, but with negative news today was this the first stage of a movement away from the island? ©James Phillips:


There's always something to look at on Portland, even on the very quiet bird days. Canthophorus impressus or the Down Shieldbug is associated with Bastard Toadflax (a rare plant in its own right) and therefore has a limited distribution across the UK. The Slopes above the Bill are a particularly good site for this diminutive bug and its host plant ©Erin Taylor:




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Pick of the bunch today were singles of Greenshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Little Gull at Ferrybridge, singles of Grey Heron and Reed Warbler at the Bill and a Balearic Shearwater through on the sea there. Fuller update and photos to follow when we have more time tomorrow.
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A miscellaneous selection to report today with early autumn migrants featuring quite well. Ferrybridge provided the best of the numbers that included 238 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Sanderling, as well as the Little Gull for a second day. At the Bill new arrivals included 4 Redshank, 2 Sedge Warblers and singles of Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Reed Warbler, with 50 Manx Shearwaters, 10 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoter, a Shoveler and Great Skua through on the sea.

It was a lovely morning to sit and wait for photo opportunities at Ferrybridge and Black-tailed Godwit and Little Gull both obliged © Debby Saunders:



Longleaf (or Sickleweed) Falcaria vulgaris is a naturalised alien first introduced to Britain as a garden plant in the 18th century. The Flora of Dorset notes just three sites in the county of which two are at Portland - whether one of them is near Wallsend where the plant was quite numerous today isn't entirely clear © James Phillips:

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Despite the AGM looming on the horizon, and the prep therein involved taking up most of the day, we managed to accrue a decent list with a couple of new faces joining the now familiar Hawfinch. Perhaps its just the way that we remember things but the autumn seems to be encroaching ever further into the summer's territory and this was proved today by the arrival of the first juvenile Sedge Warbler of the year in the Obs nets. In spite of this and a Balearic Shearwater past the Bill it was Ferrybridge yet again that stole the show with a first summer Little Gull in amongst the, now numerous, Mediterranean Gulls.

Despite the general trends emerging across the country the Portland Swallows seem to be just as abundant as in recent years © Martin King:


The Little Gull proving just how small they are by showing in the midst of the Mediterranean Gull flock © Pete Saunders:



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Another beautiful day was most productively spent at Ferrybridge where the selection of waders provided the greatest variety of the day. The three Little Ringed Plovers were still outside the visitor centre but had been joined by a pair of Black-tailed Godwits, five Curlew and nine Dunlin. Elsewhere the only real migrants were six fly-over Sand Martins and a Blackcap at the Obs where the lingering male Hawfinch continued to gorge on the bird table seed for all to see.

The Ferrybridge Black-tailed Godwits were still looking reasonably smart © Pete Saunders:


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