4th November

In clearer, chilly conditions today was always going to be a day for looking skyward and the first couple of hours of the morning came up with all the numbers. Southbound pigeons were in evidence right from dawn and in quick time at least 12500 Wood Pigeons and 185 Stock Doves were logged at the Bill; slightly oddly for recent times, 900 Starlings headed in the same direction, whilst further interest came in the form of 3 Swallows south and 30 Brent Geese, a Short-eared Owl and small numbers of thrushes, finches and Reed Buntings mainly north. Grounded arrivals weren't plentiful but did include a smattering of new Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests everywhere, 20 Black Redstarts (including 10 at Osprey Quay and 6 at the Bill) and 10 new Stonechats and a Wheatear at the Bill. Lingerers included the Black Guillemot off Portland Castle and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Pennsylvania Castle.

In the sunshine today quite a few Red Admirals and Clouded Yellows and a single Painted Lady were still on the wing at the Bill. Not surprisingly, moth immigration has pretty well fizzled out as the weather has changed over the last few days; the only lingerers caught overnight at the Obs were singles of Rush Veneer and Delicate.

Wheatear and Black Redstart - Portland Bill and Portland Castle, 4th November 2014 © Ken Dolbear (Wheatear) and Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings(Black Redstart)
Also thanks to Will Bown for a photo and some extra details on this blue-ringed Mediterranean Gull that was at Ferrybridge on 21st October:
 ...there are so many colour-ringed Med Gulls about at Ferrybridge these days that we don't often mention them unless they're from somewhere other than France and Belgium; it turns out Will's blue-ringed bird is from Italy - it was first ringed as a chick at Venice in June 2012, with just one subsequent sighting from inland western France in May 2013.