23rd November

The passage of a cold front and associated rain made for disagreeably trench-footish conditions underfoot but certainly jazzed up the quality of the birding, with a rather motley but nonetheless very worthwhile selection of migrants making the list today. The overnight rain downed a good few thrushes, with 74 Redwings and 7 Fieldfares leaving to the north from the Obs garden shortly after dawn and later a Ring Ouzel heading off in the same direction from Top Fields; also new in were at least 5 Blackcaps, a Lapwing and a Chiffchaff at the Bill, a Bullfinch at Southwell and singles of Wheatear and Snow Bunting at Ferrybridge, whilst a Hen Harrier headed north over Blacknor. Waterfowl were also on the move, with 7 Greylag Geese, 2 Goosanders and an Eider - along with 46 Common Scoter and a Brent Goose - through off the Bill, and 12 Barnacle Geese north-east over Top Fields; singles of Mute Swan and Eider was new in Portland Harbour. Lingerers still about included Black Redstarts at the Bill (4), Reap Lane (2) and Portland Castle (6), a Short-eared Owl at the Bill, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Southwell, 2 Knot and a Redshank at Ferrybridge and 6 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers and a Common Scoter in Portland Harbour.

Immigrant moths again featured in far greater numbers/variety than usual at this time of year, with 31 Diamond-back Moth, 18 Rusty-dot Pearl, 5 Silver Y, 3 each of Rush Veneer, Pearly Underwing and Dark Sword Grass, and singles of Gem and Small Mottled Willow caught overnight at the Obs; an Olive-tree Pearl was amongst a similarly wide-ranging catch at Sweethill.

Blackcaps, Fieldfare, Gem and Small Mottled Willow - Portland Bill and Southwell, 23rd November 2014 © Martin Cade (Blackcap and the moths) and Pete Saunders (Fieldfare)