4th November

There's nothing like a dip into single figure temperatures to inject some urgency into proceedings - even on a day when there was hardly a cloud in the sky - and it certainly did the trick today: Wood Pigeons were still heading away to the south but most of the day's steady passage of thrushes and finches was of birds arriving in off the sea and heading away north into the chilly breeze. The pigeon totals of 4700 over the Bill and 6000 over Easton were considered to be very conservative, with many flocks again beyond naked eye vision and suggestions from another site where the observer wasn't in a position to be able to count the flocks of far higher numbers crossing Portland Harbour. Jackdaws were again on the move, with 650 over the Bill, whilst selected other totals from there during the morning included 230 Redwings, 220 Chaffinches and 47 Bramblings; amongst the also-rans another Snow Bunting passed over, a few Fieldfares were the first since the only other single this autumn over a fortnight ago and singles of Merlin and Bullfinch were of note, whilst elsewhere 2 Woodlarks passed over at the Grove. It was quieter on the ground: both the Hen Harrier and the Continental Coal Tit remained at the Bill, where 3 Black Redstarts, a Short-eared Owl and a Firecrest were also about; at least 1 Firecrest was also still at Pennsylvania Castle. A single Pintail passing by off the Bill was the only sighting of note on the sea.

Firecrest at Pennsylvania Castle © Roy Norris...

...and one of the Black Redstarts at the Bill © Pete Saunders: