31st October

On an atrociously wet and windy morning when the sea had been expected to get all the attention one brave soul persisting with the land stole the show by stumbling across the season's first Pallas's Warbler at Verne Hill Road. The sea did have its moments, with 300 Kittiwakes, 2 Eider, 2 Pomarine Skuas and a Great Skua through off the Bill and 64 Kittiwakes and 2 Little Gulls through at Ferrybridge, with the latter also coming up with a surprise Purple Sandpiper, 480 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese amongst more mundane fare. More coverage of the land in much improved albeit still very windy conditions during the afternoon revealed the Easton Rosy Starling, a Black Redstart at Blacknor, a Firecrest at Old Hill and 30 Redwings at Easton.

For anyone interested in the minutiae of plumage variation the two Little Gulls that passed through Ferrybridge during the morning were quite different; both were in first-winter plumage so would have been expected to completely retain their juvenile wings and tail, but one of the birds showed signs of some unexpected 'extra' moult in the mid-wing bar and tail band © Pete Saunders:

Ferrybridge is a good vantage point during stormy conditions when Kittiwakes are usually the most numerous of the smaller seabirds that avoid an arduous trip round the Bill by sneaking across Portland Harbour and heading away over Chesil © Pete Saunders: