30th August

Although dawn had seen more cloud in the sky than had been expected this soon cleared and the day was for the most part bright and breezy, as well as being really quite warm by the afternoon. The day's oddest event was an extraordinarily strong - but very short and sharp since it lasted for less than an hour - eastward movement of c3000 Manx Shearwaters off the Bill midway through the morning; the sea otherwise produced little more than 20 Balearic Shearwaters and a lone Great Skua. The land was the quietest it had been all week, with routine passage restricted to barely more than double figure totals of even the commonest migrants; 3 each of White Wagtail and Grasshopper Warbler was about as good as it got at the Bill, with a single Pied Flycatcher at Thumb Lane the only other worthwhile sighting. Finally, apologies to Nick Hopper who worked really hard to collate a report for us from a couple of really busy night's of nocturnal recording earlier this week; we've been so pushed for time since then that we still haven't been able to upload any of this to the blog - hopefully tomorrow!

We don't log/trap anything like the numbers of Grasshopper Warblers that are recorded at some spots along the south coast but by our standards this autumn has been a good one for the species: the three trapped today take our autumn ringing total to 17 which we think is the highest ever (our record annual total is only 21); since we don't target Grasshopper Warbler with, for example, pre-dawn sound lures it seems like there's been a much stronger than usual passage through the island this year © John Martin: