21st September

What's not to like about a gloriously warm and sunny mid-autumn day with plenty to look at both overhead and on the ground?. The only really perplexing issue remains the almost complete lack of scarce migrants: where are all the Wrynecks, Ortolans, Yellow-browed Warblers and the like - is there just not enough people looking (coverage isn't exactly fulsome at the moment) or is there something going on with the conditions that we're not cottoning on to? After a few quiet days on the ground there was a much better spread of Chiffchaffs in particular, with most areas of cover harbouring plenty of Blackcaps as well; variety was otherwise rather limited but did included single Firecrests at the Bill and Southwell, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill, the Rosy Starling still at Haylands, the Little Stint still at Ferrybridge and the autumn's first arrival of Common Gulls (6 at Ferrybridge and another off the Bill). Far greater numbers overhead included four figure totals of Swallow and Meadow Pipit at the Bill, with 17 Redpolls and singles of Osprey, Merlin and a distressingly interesting-looking ringtail harrier providing the quality there. A worthwhile total of 35 Balearic Shearwaters passed by off the Bill.

Last week's hirundine gatherings consisted largely of House Martins, but today they hardly featured as Swallows and to a lesser extent Sand Martins came to the fore © Martin Cade:

Firecrest at Southwell © Pete Saunders...

...and Stonechat and Linnet at the Bill © Roy Norris: