8th November

Although it seems from reports that Portland wasn't as favoured for numbers as some other Dorset coastal spots it was a decent enough day with a fair bit on the move in quiet, increasingly overcast conditions that eventually gave way to mizzly dampness at times during the afternoon. A Twite - only the second Bill record this century - that dropped in briefly in a tree-top in the Obs garden was the undoubted highlight albeit one that looked to involve a pausing migrant rather the long-awaited lingerer that would have caused a stampede of Dorset listers. Visible passage involved movement in both directions with some sample totals from the Bill included 1300 Wood Pigeons, 217 Stock Doves, 200 Chaffinches, 25 Siskins and 20 Bramblings, with a late Swallow and a Corn Bunting the pick of the lower totals. Aggregations of finches aside, it was slower going on the ground with little more than ones and twos of a limited range of expected fare at the Bill, where 3 Short-eared Owls and singles of Merlin, Black Redstart and Bullfinch were as good as it got by way of minor interest; elsewhere a Grey Partridge was a local oddity at Suckthumb Quarry. Two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Northern Diver provided some interest over a sea that was noticeably more devoid of small gulls than it has been for a long time.