5th October

A day that began in the most uninspiring circumstances - a blasting westerly with very few migrants in evidence at the Bill - came good in the end with some diligent fieldwork and a hint of good fortune returning one or two decent birds. Top of the list were two Hawfinches - an early morning bird settled at Penn's Weare and a late afternoon fly-by that dropped into the Obs garden; the inevitably couple of Yellow-browed Warblers - one at Avalanche Road and a newcomer at Wakeham - probably weren't a great surprise, the Tree Sparrow was still at Southwell, whilst another fly-by Lapland Bunting, this time at Blacknor, was tagging along with the day's visible migrants. In places, notably in the shelter of Penn's Weare, it was positively jumping with Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, but for the most part grounded arrivals weren't numerous, with a new Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill and a handful of Firecrests dotted about the only less regulars on view. Visible passage was quite strong for a while when Siskins featured with some regularity amongst the more routine fare; another Merlin also passed through at the Bill.

The day's first Hawfinch was lurking in the shelter of Penn's Weare © Joe Stockwell:

...in contrast, the afternoon bird was a high-flyer that appeared well after the rest of the day's visible passage had fizzled out; after doing a round of the end of the Bill it suddenly plunged into the Obs garden where it quickly ended up in a mist-net © Martin Cade:

The Tree Sparrow was still visiting garden feeders at Southwell © Nick Stantiford:

Less regular migrants included a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill © Joe Stockwell: 

...and a Merlin at the Bill © Martin Cade: 

Right at the death of the day we couldn't resist yet another American wader for the area this autumn and nipped in for a look at the Lesser Yellowlegs that had pitched up at Lodmoor; sadly, it proved to be less than obliging and wasn't located until well after sunset and then only at extreme long range - with any luck it'll prove to be easier in the coming days © Martin Cade: