21st October

As the looming band of rain over France made its ominous way towards us over night, the small mercy was that the wind dropped to next to nothing. Early signs were not good as the Goldcrests that clung tightly to the undersides of the remaining Sycamore leaves all sported shiny new rings from the past few days. Heading out into the persistent damp revealed the hut bushes busy with Blackbirds, Redwings and Goldfinches. The huts further provided the hunting ground for a smattering of Black Redstarts and a single Brambling with the Chaffinches. The downpour also provided the backdrop for a frustratingly brief view of a Swift species that was watched for just seconds until it disappeared at low level behind the Coastguard Cottages but never re-emerged. As a break in the rain came at around 11am, so too did the day's highlight as an Olive-backed Pipit was flushed out of the hut fields; it dived into the Obs garden but shortly afterwards flew out again and headed off strongly northwestward. Away from the Obs, a selection of Black Redstarts appeared across the island, along with the long-staying Rosy Starling at Easton, the recently arrived Black Brant at Ferrybridge and a Great White Egret that flew over Weston.

The presence of lingering Goldcrests and the absence of many new arrivals in the common migrant line should have brought to our minds one of those pearls of wisdom from the much-missed Mr Cleeves who so often reminded us that 'The Big One always travels alone'...

...the Olive-backed Pipit was certainly solitary but, sadly, it was also a lousy performer - not that that greatly mattered when it called this well for us: