15th September

Weather-wise, the nicest day of the week by a margin: after a clear, chilly start in the gentle northerly it was feeling really warm by midday although some beefy showers did brew up late in the afternoon. September's a great month for variety and today excelled, with the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Wryneck and Hoopoe all still in situ at dawn (the Buff-breasted Sandpiper didn't last though and couldn't be found again after an early departure from its favourite field); another 3 Wrynecks showed up at the Bill where an Osprey and 5 Spoonbills that passed over added later spice to the mix. There were welcome signs of the recent migration hiatus coming to an end, with getting on for 1000 each of Meadow Pipit and Swallow through over the Bill, where grounded arrivals were more numerous than at any time this week even if the individual totals were generally a good deal lower than might be hoped for in mid-September. Migrant variety at the Bill included 30 Yellow Wagtails, 25 Grey Wagtails, 9 Chaffinches, 4 Tree Pipits, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Redstarts, a Hobby and a Ring Ouzel, whilst odds and ends on the sea there included 27 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Balearic Shearwater.

By the end of the day it was looking very much like the Buff-breasted Sandpiper had moved on but it did show nicely for a while early in the morning © Tony Hovell:

It almost goes without saying that the Obs Quarry Wryneck was an ever-present crowd-pleaser © Tony Hovell:

You wouldn't think that large raptors could slip by unnoticed but high-flyers like today's Osprey seem these days to attract far less attention from the local gulls and crows than they once did and we often get the feel that many are only spotted due to a jammy looking up at just the right moment; has the avian early warning system got so used to Buzzards being in the air now that the latter are so well-established around the island that the gulls and crows don't get so worked up any more at the sight of large predators overhead? © Martin Cade:

Hardly a day goes by at the moment without a Barn Owl being spotted somewhere at the Bill - this one was in Top Fields this afternoon © Richard Phillips: