28th October

How many times have we heard this autumn the pained gripes from visitors who'd thought the conditions had promised so many more birds than had actually materialised - well, today was another such event! In truth, the combination of a freshening easterly and heavy cloud cover advancing from the south really had looked pretty decent but the birds didn't oblige and it was only Goldcrests that staged any sort of arrival on the ground. They numbered well into three figures over the island as a whole, with Chiffchaffs well spread if not quite so numerous; beyond that, Black Redstarts and Firecrests were well into double figures, 2 Ring Ouzels were at Old Hill and a lone Yellow-browed Warbler was at Southwell. The briefly clear skies of dawn were not busy with overhead passage although more than 1000 Wood Pigeons passed through along with more than 200 Jackdaws and a customarily varied selection of smaller numbers of thrushes, finches and the like; a Lapland Bunting over the Bill was as good as it got for overflying scarcities. Sea movement included singles of Red-throated and Great Northern Divers through off the Bill.

The Yellow-browed Warbler at Southwell © Pete Saunders...

...and one of the Black Redstarts at the Bill © Joe Stockwell: