10th February

The return of grey skies and a freshening south-easterly saw the temperature take a tumble again. The main feature of the day at the Bill was a strong up-Channel passage of auks that became apparent once the early gloom had lifted: the 6000 or so that were counted by mid-afternoon (we weren't able to watch for several long periods so the total was likely well in excess of 10000) were moving very purposefully and had all the look of the winterers from this part of the Channel suddenly departing - it'll be interesting to see if there are many non-breeders left in the next few days. The sea also came up with 7 more passing Red-throated Divers and a lingering Great Skua, whilst standard fare on the land included 5 Purple Sandpipers, one of the Blackcaps and a new Pheasant. Elsewhere, a Black Redstart was again at Reap Lane and the Hooded Crow was still at the Grove pig farm.