29th September

It's come to our attention that many members and other visitors to the Bill are unaware of a planning application for a proposed change of land use in part of the Top Fields at the Bill - specifically, this relates to the establishment of semi-permanent glamping and camping facilities on what is currently classified as agricultural land; PBO has made a formal representation since this proposal concerns fields very close to Helen's Fields that we own and manage for nature conservation purposes. In cases like this, we tend to take the view that too many frivolous expressions of either support or objection can be counter productive; however, well-argued observations from regular visitors to the area in question should carry weight with the planning authorities and ought to be made. If you feel strongly about this issue do please make a representation. The application can be viewed at: 


The application reference WP/20/00507/FUL should be entered in the search box at the bottom of the page.

Members and visitors might also be interested in a proposal to redevelop the Pulpit Inn at the Bill; PBO currently has no formal position on this matter that's still at the Public Consultation stage although we have noted that the proposals include a concerning level of development of the open grassland to the north of the pub buildings (...who on earth dreamt up 'Hobbit Houses' and would for one moment have thought they were appropriate in this location!). The consultation document that includes a facility to comment can be viewed at:  https://publications.thepulpit.co.uk/pulpit/the-pulpit?pid=MTA108510

Despite a continuation of yesterday's cloud coupling with a drop in the wind, the migrant passage did not continue as expected. The overnight winds must have taken more of a toll than anticipated meaning that passerine migrants were on the low side until the clouds departed and the hirundine passage of last week resumed once more. Overhead passage was much reduced with a noticeable absence of Siskins, but as the sun came out Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows gathered in impressive numbers over the Crown Fields. With the morning cloud cover providing good visibility on the sea, the Balearic Shearwater tally fell just short of triple figures, and the winter ducks continued to arrive with seven Wigeon and 50 Common Scoter. Highlights on the land were restricted to a slightly tardy Whinchat, a single Yellow Wagtail and the reappearance of yesterdays eastern Lesser Whitethroat. Elsewhere on the island, the Little Stint continued its marathon performance and a slightly unseasonable Treecreeper was found at the Grove church. 

The balmy conditions of the afternoon looked likely to produce a hirundine bonanza but, aside from a fair-sized gathering of House Martins at the Grove, things didn't pan out as expected and only relatively small numbers of birds lingered at the Bill © Roy Norris:

The afternoon sun also brought out a host of butterflies with plentiful whites on the wing as well as the final generation of Common Blues and a good showing of Clouded Yellows (the latter of which have been sparse this year) © Geoff Orton: