17th November

Whilst not quite turned off, the migration tap was at best only dripping today. Thrushes, Starlings and finches were conspicuously fewer than in recent days but the odd few faintly respectable totals were accrued, including 310 Starlings, 180 Goldfinches, 90 Chaffinches and 15 Bramblings moving over the Bill, where 2 Merlins and another tardy Swallow were also overhead and 3 Purple Sandpipers and singles of Black Redstart, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Siberian Chiffchaff were scattered on the ground. Elsewhere, a late Common Whitethroat was a surprise find at Southwell, at least 2 more Black Redstarts were at the north of the island and another Merlin was overhead at Ferrybridge. The only reports from the sea were of singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Skua through off the Bill and 4 Black-necked and a Slavonian Grebe in Portland Harbour.

We're struggling to remember a previous Common Whitethroat as late as this one that was a serendipitous find right at the end of the afternoon close to West Cliffs but just within the confines of Southwell Business Park; it afforded only the briefest of views but, on the basis of the grey head and white outer tail-feathers, looks likely to be an adult male - it'll be interesting to have a closer look at it if it hangs around © Pete Saunders:

The back stories of so many of the migrants that pass through here often get forgotten about as you're watching them: this tardy young Swallow that was scooting about over the Obs this morning looking like it didn't have a care in the world has in theory got to get to South Africa in the next few weeks...

...whilst these Starlings that arrived in off the sea were quite likely born in Russia, spent last night roosting in France and will end up spending tonight roosting somewhere like the Somerset Levels - and as they zoomed through here without a pause they flew right over a load of our local Starlings that'll likely spend their whole lives at the Bill © Martin Cade: