30th October

The weather front hovering in the Channel meted another fair old battering with an easterly gale and frequent pulses of often heavy rain again the order of the day. Birding on the land was hard work and generally unrewarding but the sea was worth constant attention and returned a typical miscellany of island irregulars. Common Scoters, Brent Geese, Dunlin and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (all reached 50-150 totals) made up the bulk of the numbers off the Bill, where the likes of 14 Pintail, 4 Velvet Scoter, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, a Great Crested Grebe and a Little Gull were maybe the pick of the varied bunch of waterfowl, waders and gulls logged; the selection of wildfowl on the move across Portland Harbour included 8 Shelduck and 6 Wigeon. The land was certainly worth attention even if there was a constant feeling that much of what was about wasn't actually showing itself in the blasting wind; single Yellow-browed Warblers showed up at the Obs and Southwell, 800 Starlings were grounded at the Bill, the long-staying Wryneck popped up again at the Bill and there were certainly a good few new arrivals amongst the more routine thrushes, 'crests and the like.