6th November

So awful has the weather been in recent weeks that a flat calm, clear dawn was something to be really grateful for. Wood Pigeons were immediately apparent high overhead and an impressive 15000 were eventually logged heading away south from the Bill; sadly, routine passage was otherwise something of an anti-climax with noticeably fewer warblers and 'crests on the ground than of late and rather less visible passage than had been anticipated. Fortunately - the pigeons passage aside - the day was saved by two nice local rares: 4 Egyptian Geese over the Bill wouldn't have attracted much interest from anyone but the Portland diehards but the Little Bunting the dropped in late in the day at the Sweethill rarity magnet was a nice regional scarcity. Two Bearded Tits over the Bill were a none too surprising oddity for a still late autumn day and a Yellow-browed Warbler lingered on at Wakeham, whilst 3 Mistle Thrushes there and a Green Sandpiper at Ferrybridge were the best of the other scarcer migrants and 16 Reed Buntings at the Bill was by this autumn's poor standards a good total.

Although usually thought of a late September/October bird, there are actually previous early November records of Little Bunting at Portland so today's Southwell bird wasn't altogether unexpected - and certainly not as out of season as last year's well-watched December bird © Pete Saunders: