4th November

A good, old-fashioned late autumn day of fair weather, a drop in the temperature and plenty of movement had been well overdue and the switch in wind direction from mainly onshore to resoundingly offshore gave us what we wanted: departing high flying pigeons, thrushes and finches arriving in off the sea and a constant trickle of thrushes, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs through the mist-nets. The 18900 departing Wood Pigeons logged was no doubt an absolute minimum, with many huge flocks so high up as to be invisible to the naked eye; the day's other overhead numbers at the Bill included 433 Starlings, 260 Redwings, 230 Chaffinches, 143 Goldfinches, 110 Meadow Pipits, 100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 70 Skylarks, 40 Song Thrushes, 36 Siskins, 19 Redpolls and 17 Bramblings, with 5 Swallows, 2 Merlins, 2 Golden Plovers, 2 Woodlarks, a Lapwing and a Short-eared Owl amongst the lower totals. With a bare minimum of coverage numbers on the ground were harder to be sure of but 40 Blackbirds, 30 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, 10 Robins and 5 Goldcrests passing through in the vicinity of the Obs gave an idea of what was on the move; the long-staying Cetti's Warbler and 2 Black Redstarts were also at the Bill. The Southwell/Weston area was also busy for common migrants and noteworthy totals for this area and other points northward included 10 Black Redstarts, 6 Woodlarks, 4 Firecrests, a Mistle Thrush and a Dartford Warbler.

Aside from a brief pulse of movement back in mid-October thrushes have been all but absent so far this autumn so it was good to see Redwings and Fieldfares in quantity today © Martin Cade (Redwing) and Pete Saunders (Fieldfare):

No doubt a lot of birds were missed today with much of the movement taking place at considerable height, as in the case of this skein of Lesser Black-backed Gulls; these birds passed over the Obs just before 4pm and were lost to sight heading south - presumably they wouldn't have made landfall in France until well after dusk © Martin Cade:

The chill of dawn was replaced by nice warm sunshine before too long and insects were plentiful: Red Admirals were everywhere and multiples of Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow were still on the wing at the Bill; overnight mothing showed that there were still fair numbers of immigrants about, with the catch at the Obs including 39 Rusty-dot Pearl, 4 Turnip, 3 Rush Veneer, 3 Pearly Underwing and singles of Diamond-back, Dark Sword grass and Scarce Bordered Straw © Martin Cade:

Barn Owls remain pretty showy at the Bill and Southwell - this one was at the latter at dusk © Pete Saunders:

Incoming Blackcaps were a real feature today - no doubt by tomorrow they'll all be on the lookout for winter provisions in gardens across southern England © Martin King: