15th November

A stormer of  day that just about had it all: a tremendous nocturnal passage of thrushes, a decent arrival of grounded migrants, some strong visible passage and, to top it all, a good rarity; there was even a from the sublime to the ridiculous twist in the form of an entirely bizarre report from a photographer - supported by a patently photoshopped image - of the Weymouth Franklin's Gull being seen at the Bill - presumably the quality of the real birding isn't exciting enough for halfwits like this. After days spent staring upwards for a swift of some sort to come streaking through the eventually appearance of one sneaking over the Obs under heavily overcast skies today caught everyone unawares and its identification would have remained unresolved had it not later been discovered lingering first along West Cliffs at the Bill and later over West Weare above Chesil Cove when it could be confirmed as a Pallid Swift. After a night when thrushes were passing over in huge numbers (we were recording but haven't yet had time to even download what we're rather dreading is going to be a really time-consuming file to go through!) there was plenty about on the ground including totals at the Bill of 280 Redwings and 50 Goldcrests; the 5 Woodlarks were also still about at Broadcroft/Shepherd's Dinner. Visible passage was also evident throughout the morning when sample totals at the Bill included 880 Chaffinches, 690 Goldfinches, 520 Wood Pigeons and 13 Bramblings.

The Pallid Swift © Debby Saunders (stills) and Dave Foot (videos):