14th October

Movement was the order of the day today, with a rain front sitting not too far out in the Channel seemingly deflecting a steady passage of Swallows, Meadow Pipits, thrushes, finches and the like toward the island; in a stiff northeasterly and under relatively clear skies over the island itself most birds headed straight through northward. Passage was on a broad front so was tricky to keep abreast of but sample counts at several strategic spots suggested day-totals from the Bill were of the order of 800 Chaffinches, 700 Meadow Pipits, 500 apiece of Swallow, Starling and Linnet, and 250 Redwings; the good spread of further variety included 13 Crossbills, 9 Lapwings, 3 Merlins and 2 Snipe. At least 5 Yellow-browed Warblers were scattered about but birding on the ground was hard work in the wind and, aside from a freaky Great White Egret that pitched into a bone-dry horse paddock at Wakeham, 3 Ring Ouzels, a Short-eared Owl and a Dartford Warbler in the relative shelter of West Weare were the best that could be unearthed. In an offshore wind 14 Brent Geese and 6 Wigeon off the Bill were the best mustered from the sea