21st October

A last-minute reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs tomorrow, Sunday 22nd October.

A day that looked to be struggling to get going - enthusiasm for prolonged fieldwork being dented by sporadic, sometimes heavy showers until early afternoon after which a stiff northwesterly sprung up - ultimately produced a decently varied tally of seasonable fare. Grounded totals left a lot to be desired, with the season's rather belated first Dartford Warbler (at Coombefield) the pick of the new arrivals; the eastern Lesser Whitethroat, Ring Ouzel and Firecrest all lingered on at the Bill, whilst there were also regular sightings of Merlin there and at Ferrybridge and single Short-eared Owls were at the Bill and East Weare. There was far more on the move overhead, with morning totals from the Bill that included 1475 Wood Pigeons, 510 Goldfinches, 325 Linnets, 220 Meadow Pipits, 185 Pied Wagtails, 120 Chaffinches, 70 Skylarks and 45 Siskins, with 8 Redpolls, 7 Bramblings and 2 Mistle Thrushes amongst the miscellany of tag-alongs. The sea chipped in with a few useful additions to the day-list that included 2 Arctic Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and Common Tern through off the Bill.