3rd October

With the forecast predicting heavy rain for much of the day, and a continuation of the overnight gusting gales, we were dragging our feet somewhat this morning. However, as the rain slowed and the wind ebbed it was clear that there were a few more birds around than in recent days. The first sign came with a wheeze from the nearby Chaffinch flock revealing the first Brambling of the year, swiftly followed by a eastern type Lesser Whitethroat in the hut fields. As the morning progressed, more subtle signs of migration made themselves known as Blackcaps emerged from the brambles, Robins remained hidden but ticking loudly and Whinchats appearing amongst the swollen ranks of Stonechats. The highlight of the day came as a Yellow-browed Warbler announced its presence in the Obs garden, joined by a flurry of Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler. Other notable migrants included singles of Reed Warbler, Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, as well as three Redwings, 11 Snipe (involving a single and a flock of 10), five Grey Herons and large flocks of mixed hirundines over the West Cliffs. Birds that we consider resident were also clearly joined by migrants including Dunnocks, Robins, Blackbirds and Rock Pipits, the latter's population being joined by a flock of 24 on the recently washed in seaweed. 

Assuming they don't all carry on westwards from Scotland and perish in the North Atlantic there should be an awful lot more Yellow-browed Warblers to get down this way before the autumn's out © Martin Cade: