30th November

Sometimes one little event encapsulates so much more, and today it was the Yellow-browed Warbler dropping out of a clear blue sky into the top of a now leafless sycamore in the Obs garden at midday that summed up a lot of what's gone before during this month - things like this really shouldn't be happening on the last day of November. As it was, the Yellow-browed wasn't alone since 3 new Blackcaps popped up in mist-nets at the Obs at almost the same moment, while the morning had seen a steady little trickle of thrushes arriving in off the sea and making off northward. Yesterday's unseasonable Wheatear at the Bill lingered for a second day, whilst the Hoopoe again added colour to proceedings, although on this occasion it was watched heading north over Osprey Quay so might finally have been making an escape from the island. The day's routine fare included 22 Redwings, c20 new Blackbirds, 8 Fieldfares and singles of Lapwing, Black Redstart and Chiffchaff at the Bill, together with 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Shoveler through on the sea there, 3 Black Redstarts at Blacknor and several Black Redstarts and the Black Guillemot at Portland Castle.

Red Admirals were still on the wing at the Obs, where 9 Rusty-dot Pearl and singles of Diamond-back Moth and Silver Y made up the overnight immigrant moth catch.

Stonechat and Yellow-browed Warbler - Hamm Beach and Portland Bill, 30th November 2014 © Pete Saunders (Stonechat) and Martin Cade (Yellow-browed Warbler)

...the rather subdued greens, at times seemingly pale lores and quite indistinct median covert wing-bar gave the Yellow-browed Warbler a sometimes rather Hume's-ish feel and it took quite a while before it called and completely satisfied us that it really was 'just' a Yellow-browed: