6th October

Today's rarity left it late to surface but was welcome nonetheless: the island's sixth Blyth's Reed Warbler popped up in a mist-net at the Obs late in the afternoon and showed from time to time after release in the Obs Quarry. The day's birding action had otherwise been something of an anticlimax, with plenty of routine fare overhead but not over much on the ground and little else in the oddity line beyond a putative Siberian Lesser Whitethroat at the Craft Centre and single Yellow-browed Warblers at Verne Common and the Bill. Visible passage was again very poorly quantified but involved a strong and prolonged movement of Meadow Pipits, hirundines and Linnets, amongst which variety included 5 Snipe, 2 each of Merlin, Lapwing and Short-eared Owl, and a single Golden Plover over the Bill and a Ring Ouzel over Blacknor. On the ground, thrushes and Robins featured in slightly better numbers than of late but Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were all far less conspicuous than might have been expected; 4 Firecrests at Pennsylvania Castle were worth a mention but there were few if any other less regulars anywhere.

The rather astonishing recent run of Radford's Flame Shoulders continued with another single caught overnight at the Obs; 24 Rush Veneer, 6 Rusty-dot Pearl, 5 Silver Y and 2 each of Diamond-back Moth and Delicate made up the rest of the immigrant moth tally there.

Blyth's Reed Warbler ID has moved on since the times when we struggled with the first two island records and it was nice to be able to take one quick look at it and know what it was without recourse to wing formula and biometrics - that said, all the latter were spot on when checked which is always reassuring! The one really tricky thing was finding the right way to photograph it to correctly capture the subtle plumage tones - these images show the pallid uniformity quite well but to our eyes perhaps only the folded wing photo captures the distinctive pale rufous edges to the flight feathers and greater coverts in the correct way.

And we're still being greedy with Radford's Flame Shoulders - this morning's was the fifth at the Obs in a week: