8th October

The return of perfect birding conditions sadly wasn't accompanied by a surge in coverage and it was left to a few die-hards to accumulate a decent tally of visble migrants but an unsurprisingly poorer return from the ground, from where it was quickly apparent that the clear skies and balmy warmth hadn't been conducive to dropping birds in quanity. Overhead passage was well-sampled at the Bill where 500 Swallows, 450 Meadow Pipits, 230 Linnets, 225 alba wagtails, 66 Skylarks, 50 Goldfinches, 40 Jackdaws, 35 Chaffinches, 22 Siskins, 19 Reed Buntings, 16 Greenfinches and a few odds and ends including singles of Grey Heron and Merlin had headed mainly south by mid-morning. Grounded migrants were better spread around the centre of the island than they were at the Bill but everywhere variety was hard to come by amongst the routine Stonechats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. A promising-looking feeding aggregation of gulls off the Bill (vaguely reminiscent of the beginnings of a similar and ultimately very much larger event like this last October) included the likes of 300 Mediterranean Gulls, 275 Kittiwakes and 40 Black-headed Gulls, with up to 15 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Great Skuas also attracted at times; a lone Red-throated Diver also passed by offshore.