31st October

A relatively quiet end to the month with the veil of high cloud that drifted in after dawn coming too late to drop much in the way of grounded migrants, whilst overhead passage was unexpectedly slow. The first appearance this winter at Ferrybridge of what's likely to be a returning Black Brant was of note but the only other scarcity reported was the lingering Yellow-browed Warbler at Broadcroft Quarry. Most of the expected late autumn migrants did get on the day list but only a handful of the less frequent thrushes and finches managed even double figure totals, with at least 3 Bullfinches and a Mistle Thrush the best that could be mustered at the Bill. On the ground there was little better on offer than a good scatter of ones and twos of Firecrests, many of which have now been around for a while and look as though they're settling in for winter; other likely winterers of interest included the first Black-necked Grebe back in Portland Harbour, 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Ferrybridge, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Avalanche Road and 5 Purple Sandpipers at the Bill. Two Pomarine Skuas passed through on the sea at the Bill.

The handful of immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs did include singles of Cosmopolitan and Radford's Flame Shoulder.

Black Brants have become quite a winter staple at Ferrybridge so today's new arrival will likely prove to be a long-stayer © Pete Saunders:

Long-tailed Tits were putting on a good show at Southwell again today © Debby Saunders: