23rd October

Such was the gloom and the strength of the wind today - that saw to it that birds just weren't showing themselves very well - that it seemed to be underappreciated by many fieldworkers that there was actually a good spread of new arrivals around. The strength of overnight thrush passage had certainly indicated there was lots on the move but at dawn it was Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests that made up the bulk of what had dropped in, whilst finches featured quite well as the morning wore on; scarcer migrants included 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at Southwell and 3 Hawfinches and 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs at the Bill, with perhaps as many as 20 Firecrests also still about at the Bill (together with a few more in other spots that were checked). A steady passage of small flocks of Kittiwakes developed off the Bill as the day went on but 23 Brent Geese, 3 Great Skuas and 2 Arctic Skuas were the only other birds of note on the sea there. Elsewhere, a Knot was at Ferrybridge where the Dark-bellied Brent Goose flock numbered 1050 (including just 1 juvenile) and the Pale-bellied Brents increased to 3.

A meagre overnight catch of moths at the Obs did include a modest increase in immigrants: 10 Rusty-dot Pearl, 3 Vestals and singles of Delicate and Silver Y.

Were it not for the fact that we've had genetic confirmation of birds like this in the past we'd have been a bit hesitant that the day's first Siberian Chiffchaff - a very swarthy-looking bird with somewhat inferior bare-part colouration - really was one, even though it stood out like a sore thumb amongst the greener Common Chiffchaffs being handled at the moment © Martin Cade:

...the day's second looked more typical (...is there such a thing?) and called the part as well © Joe Stockwell:

This is the time of year when the occasional really striking black-and-white Lesser Black-backed Gull drops in amongst the loafing gulls at the Bill. We've been seeing the occasional 'normal' intermedius Lesser Black-back for several weeks - they've all had rather obvious signs of moult (streaking on the head, extensive wing moult etc) in contrast to these late arrivals that look to be largely or completely unmoulted and presumably originate from much further north © Martin Cade: