2nd November

A Monday in November with a gale blowing all day certainly oughtn't be the sort of day when the rewards come thick and fast but today was oddly satisfying, what with there being interest on land, sea and overhead. The wealth of visible passage evident as soon as dawn broke was perhaps the biggest surprise with, amongst others, 1760 Goldfinches, 180 Chaffinches and a Merlin through in 2 hours at the Bill; a little later, the first signs of Wood Pigeon passage also developed, with 400 through Ferrybridge and 280 leaving from the Bill, whilst the first Swallow for a few days also dashed past at the Bill. The very stormy conditions overnight put thoughts of the likes of Leach's Petrels in mind, but in the event the seawatchers had to make do with 2 Grey Phalaropes and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Skua at Chesil Cove and another Great Skua at the Bill; 4 Great Northern Divers were also in Portland Harbour, with 700 Mediterranean Gulls and 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Ferrybridge. The land remained almost devoid of new grounded migrants but the Rose-coloured Starling at Easton and a re-emergence of the Red-breasted Flycatcher at the Obs more than compensated.

Given the dreadful conditions over the weekend it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Red-breasted Flycatcher was missed for a couple of days; it was just as windy today but with the sun out the bird was tempted into view long enough to afford the first field views in its six days of residence! © Martin Cade:

Despite the strength of the wind the dawn sky was clear enough to see plenty of migrants get moving overhead; Goldfinches dominated but, later in the morning, the first couple of flocks of departing Wood Pigeons perhaps hinted at things to come once the weather calms dawn © Martin Cade:

One of the wintering Purple Sandpipers must have been getting so fed up with taking such at battering at the Bill tip that it wandered well back up the East Cliffs this morning; there were also an as yet unconfirmed reports of another in an even less likely spot at Chesil Cove © Geoff Orton: