2nd November

Long overdue absolutely perfect conditions - millpond calm, a clear sky and really quite mild if you were flogging around birding - provided another vismig bonanza and the first flurry of grounded arrivals for a while. All the numbers were overhead where c30500 more Wood Pigeons streaming out to the south and 1350 Jackdaws going we're not quite sure where provided the spectacle, with 303 Chaffinches and 41 Bramblings worthwhile tallies amongst the varied tag-alongs. The grounded selection was also varied although numbers were only noteworthy in comparison with the abject lows of the last fortnight: a Continental Coal Tit and 3 Bullfinches were firsts for the season at the Bill, whilst a Siberian Chiffchaff at Thumb Lane/Avalanche Road was the pick of the sightings elsewhere; a scatter of 4 Short-eared Owls, 4 Black Redstarts, 3 Firecrests and a Merlin were of further interest.

Today's pigeon-fest was very different to yesterday's: with barely a breath of wind and a completely clear sky most of the flocks were so high as be verging on the limit of naked eye vision...

...Unlike yesterday the sky was also full of Jackdaws although, as is so often the case at Portland, the eventual destination of their swirling, often seemingly aimless flocks were a lot harder to interpret © Martin Cade:

The ater Coal Tit was one of those difficult birds that was nearly always just behind the the first layer of leaves - perfectly visible but only really rarely actually showing off its distinctive features to full effect...

...and there were nearly always parts of leaves or branches spoiling what could have been worthwhile photos of it! © Martin Cade:

And, as always, it had a staggering repertoire of calls: these are just a few of the dozens recorded - very many of them subtly different - as it processed around the Obs garden