26th November

Lovely quiet conditions - which were eventually spoilt by the onset of occasional dizzly outbreaks during the afternoon - ensured there was plenty of coverage today. The Siberian Chiffchaff remaining at Portland Castle scored highest for rarity value, but a Sandwich Tern at Ferrybridge was a nice winter sighting and a good array of late migrants and long-stayers put in appearances. Migrant-wise, it was again overflying thrushes and finches that provided most the interest, even if numbers were nothing to get excited about; the 3 Short-eared Owls at the Bill were also all in unexpected spots and gave the impression of perhaps being newcomers. Likely winterers of note included Firecrests at the Obs, Wakeham and Portland Castle, Black Redstarts at the Bill, Blacknor (2) and Portland Castle, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Wakeham and 8 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 7 Black-necked Grebes and singles of Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe and Common Scoter at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour. The only seawatch reports of note were of 3 Red-throated Divers, a Wigeon and Great Skua through off the Bill.

Sandwich Tern, Pale-bellied Brent Geese and Siberian Chiffchaff - Ferrybridge and Portland Castle, 26th November 2015 © Pete Saunders (Sandwich Tern and Pale-bellied Brents) and Duncan Walbridge (Siberian Chiffchaff)

The Siberian Chiffchaff was a good performer even if it took an age of waiting before it called for us:

As usual, the bird took on notably different guises depending on its situation and the light - an effect accentuated by the vagaries of camera set-up; here's another of Duncan's photos of it in the open:

...and one of ours when it was in full shade:

...and, with a different camera again, some of our video of it: