19th October

As the wind slowly lost its bite throughout the day, the sun came out and a beautiful and warm afternoon materialised. The clear skies meant a much reduced day list, however three Yellow-browed Warblers across the island is the highest day count so far this autumn. Other highlights included a juvenile Pomarine Skua west past the Bill, two slightly tardy Common Whitethroats and 5 Wheatears across the Bill area.

A flock of 25 Chiffchaffs in the trees above Wakeham was harbouring this very camera-shy Yellow-browed Warbler © Erin Taylor:

In what's been a pretty grim period for migrant numbers Stonechats have fared rather well: at the Bill the year's ringing tally is already its second highest ever which is pretty good going considering the Crown Estate Field mist-nets have been out of action for so long in the windy weather of recent weeks when most Stonechat passage has been underway (Glen Thomas has made a sterling effort this week and trapped 28 using just spring-traps!). We've long known from recaptures that some of our breeding population are year-round residents here and it also seems that a few of the arriving migrants end up - weather permitting - spending the winter here. What we're less clear on is the full extent of the natal areas our migrants originate from and where they end up departing to for the winter, although we do have recoveries of birds ringed in the breeding season as far north as Cumbria and have onward movements to both Brittany and northern Spain © Ken Dolbear: