3rd November

Although the volume of general passage is certainly slowing up as autumn winds down there's still more than enough going on for plenty of entertaining birding, with today's nice quiet conditions allowing for lots of coverage. Overhead passage provided all the numbers, with 4000 Wood Pigeons, 200 Chaffinches and lower totals of a good variety of thrushes and finches moving over the Bill through the morning. On the ground another Serin showed up at the Bill, where 2 each of Woodcock and Short-eared Owl, and singles of White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (for its fifth day), Dartford Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler were among the lowish numbers of commoner migrants; elsewhere there were 2 more Yellow-browed Warblers at Avalanche Hump and 4 Black Redstart at Portland Castle. In terms of both quantity and variety the sea has been the poor relation for many weeks so signs of a slight upturn were very welcome, with 100 Kittiwakes, 19 Common Scoter, 10 Brent Geese, 3 each of Red-throated Diver and Red-breasted Merganser, and a Wigeon through off the Bill.

Despite the plunging temperature seeing moth activity reduced almost to the point of being non-existent an Oak Rustic - a new species for Portland - made it into a trap at the Obs; 2 Silver Y and a single Dark Sword Grass were the only immigrants logged there.

The third Serin in a fortnight was, like the first of the three, a young female:

On what was probably the poorest moth night since sometime in the spring the long-awaited first Oak Rustic for Portland was a pretty unexpected capture at the Obs:

There was a time when the standard calls at this time of year were things like the wheezing and chupping of a Brambling...

...but the soundscape is changing and these days you're almost as likely to hear a Yellow-browed Warbler (and in today's case, whilst recording the Yellow-browed Warbler a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat suddenly pops up as well):