24th September

A distinctly autumnal feel to the brisk and clear morning, the recent gales have forced the most prominent of the gardens Sycamores to surrender their uppermost leaves allowing for an unhindered view of the early morning migration. Highlights of the day came on the form of two Ortolan Buntings in separate areas of the island (one bird heard calling over the top fields and one in Suckthumb quarry) and a Rosy Starling at Weston. A constant stream of Meadow Pipits across the entire observation area made obtaining an accurate count difficult but a minimum of 2000 birds was recorded for the morning. The finches also put in a good display with 37 Chaffinches and 18 Siskins over the garden. An autumnal record of Merlins was also recorded with 4 distinctly different individuals. Other birds moving in numbers included: Swallows, Skylarks, Alba Wagtails, Blackcaps, Wheatears, Whinchats and Reed Buntings.

Today we were treated to a selection of brilliant predator-prey interactions. This tiny male Merlin was giving the flocks of Meadow Pipits the run around, and the Kestrels appear to have found a new food source by diving into the Brambles for Great Green Bush-crickets. © Martin Cade (Merlin and Meadow Pipit) © Edmund Mackrill (Kestrel):