12th October

Although remaining basically mild and Atlantic influenced the weather's been locally quite changeable just recently, with yesterday's gale replaced by increasingly balmy sunshine today. If anything it looked as though conditions had improved too much and grounded migrants weren't at all numerous: the Yellow-browed Warbler and Ring Ouzel remained at the Obs and another Yellow-browed Warbler was at Weston, but amongst the bitsy spread of other migrants it didn't get much better than 2 Firecrests, a Merlin and a Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill. It was busier overhead although certainly not as busy as might have been hoped on a clear morning, with 40 Siskins over the Bill the best amongst the modest numbers of regular October movers.

Moth numbers were also unremarkable, with 3 Delicates the only immigrants trapped overnight at the Obs.

Stonechats have been very conspicuous just lately but this striking male stood out from the crowd on West Cliffs this morning. In spring birds as white-rumped as this are relatively frequent and are usually taken as belonging to the continental form, rubicola; in autumn though such an extensive white rump is much more unusual (British and continental Stonechats are in much fresher plumage at this time of year so the usually whiter rump of the latter is well hidden) - we don't recollect seeing any quite so well-marked - and, had the bird not looked in all other respects like a typical male 'Common' Stonechat, would have got the bird much closer scrutiny © Joe Stockwell: