30th August

It's happened time and again this year, but once again heavy rain that looked from radar images as though it couldn't miss the island fizzled out just as it arrived here and the forecast downpour amounted to no more than some light drizzle. The change from the recent anticyclonic conditions did however make all the difference to the variety of migrants on offer. Quality-wise, it was a Rose-coloured Starling that flew north low over the Crown Estate Field - looking very much as though it had just arrived in off the sea - that provided the day's highlight. Willow Warbler replaced Yellow Wagtail at the top of the numbers board, with 75 dropping in at the Bill, but a good many of the other expected species put in appearances, amongst which 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and a White Wagtail were the most noteworthy.

On a breezier night moth numbers dropped back once again, with 3 Scarce Bordered Straw and a Delicate the only scarcer immigrants trapped at the Obs; elsewhere, singles of Vestal at Reap Lane and Weston were of interest.

It'll likely only be a matter of days before all the Willow Warblers are replaced by Chiffchaffs but their swansong today was decent enough, with more about at the Bill than on most days so far this autumn. Even allowing for their mediocre passage this season, we've got nothing to grumble about when it comes to Willows: such were the numbers this spring that their all-time annual ringing record was nearly broken in that season alone, and has been resoundingly trounced now that we've nearly got to the end of their autumn passage © Martin Cade: