13th October

Another warm but blustery day yielded slightly more in the way of migrant activities with a pair of Merlin at the Bill, the loitering Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest in the obs garden and the fourth Cetti's Warbler of the autumn making it the best year on record. A few late-ish migrants included a Yellow Wagtail on the West Cliffs, three Whinchats (including two at Avalanche Hump), and a lone Wheatear. The first Purple Sandpiper for some time, a pair of Snipe and a Song Thrush were indicators of how far through the autumn we have already progressed. The sea had only a Bonxie to offer, however this is unsurprising given the huge swell that has been generated over the past couple of days.

With migrant activity at such a low ebb by day it was interesting to receive Nick Hopper's report on his visit to try some nocturnal recording a couple of night's ago (10th/11th October). It turned out to a well-chosen night since the blasting wind that was such a feature of the latter half of the week dropped away to virtually nothing for several hours during the evening and passage was immediately audible over the Obs. Nick's report is as follows:

The night’s recording coincided with a big Song Thrush movement, with 1576 calls logged. The majority of these were in a 3.5 hour period up until around 00.30, after which the calling reduced significantly. A few Redwing also on the move with 108 calls logged and 4 Blackbird.
In terms of rarity value the night’s highlight was the first Firecrest to be recorded since recording began here. In fact 3 individuals were logged during the night. Also 2 Goldcrest. 
Best of the rest: Common Scoter - small party, Common Snipe 2, Robin 5, Dunlin 1, Ringed Plover 4, Grey Heron 1.

Today's Purple Sandpiper at the Bill © Mark Eggleton