23rd November

A day of mixed feelings with as many birds giving us the slip as were clinched. The first bird of the morning proved to be the highlight as a Serin left the garden roost with the usual Goldfinches. This set the tone for a very 'finchy' day with a total of seven species including good numbers of Chaffinches, Goldfinches, and Linnets; plus small numbers of Greenfinches, Bramblings, a Siskin and the Serin. There was also a noticeable increase in House Sparrows with multiple flocks making the island total in the triple figures. Other passerines trickled through including double figures of Redwings and a couple of Song Thrushes. The real gut-wrencher came from a missed opportunity of a Richard's Pipit with two possible sightings never being fully confirmed. The sea was quiet with counts of just 4 Red-throated Divers, 3 Common Scoter and the first 3 returning Fulmars since their late summer departure. Elsewhere on the island, Ferrybridge produced 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Merlin (presumably a loitering individual following the pipits and larks).

So often a straightforward Portland banker, Serin had been surprise omission from the year list before today - sadly, our photographic efforts were sufficiently inept that it'd take a combination of half-a-dozen frames to be able to see the whole bird © Martin Cade: