20th October

It's not often that you get to moan that the weather was too nice during October but from the birding point of view that was likely the case today, with the cloudless sky and shirt-sleeves warmth hardly conducive to dropping migrants in quantity; that said, the trees were certainly busier with Chiffchaffs and 'crests than has been the case for a few days and the balmy conditions made it a pleasure to spend time working through them. The Chiffchaff tally from the centre and south of the island was well into three figures, whilst Goldcrests - that have hitherto been conspicuously thin on the ground throughout - reached an autumn peak to date of 30 at the Bill; other worthwhile totals included 15 Reed Buntings and 8 Long-tailed Tits at the Bill. Quality on the ground was sadly lacking, with Yellow-browed Warblers at Southwell School (2) and the Grove the best on offer; 4 Ring Ouzels were still scattered about the north of the island and 3 Black Redstarts were at the Bill/Southwell. Visible passage was a bit of an anti-climax - were they all too high or just taking a different route today? - with seasonable fare all represented but only sparsely at best.

The warmth of recent days has seen plenty of insects on the wing, amongst which today were at Red-veined Darter at the Verne and well into double figure totals of both Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady.

In places the purges of recent years on invasive cotoneaster maybe went a little too overboard and grubbed out swathes of the plant (whose berries are so loved by migrant thrushes) from traditional Ring Ouzel haunts; fortunately the inaccessible slopes of the Verne Citadel retain a fair bit of this pernicious alien and continue to be an ouzel hot-spot © Dave Foot:

The Obs after dark this evening © Martin King: