21st October


A reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Sunday, 24th October.

A most turbulent of nights saw a few hours of gale force winds and torrential rain introduce much cooler air that in turn prompted of pulse of departing migrants to develop once clear skies returned after dawn. Variety was to the fore, with 400 Wood Pigeons, 250 Goldfinches, 175 each of Linnet and Siskin, 150 alba wagtails, 100 Chaffinches, 23 Bramblings, 21 Greenfinches, 2 Merlins and a Woodlark among the movers over the Bill; later, 2 Glossy Ibis snuck through over Thumb Lane but escaped attention elsewhere. In terms of numbers, the returns from the ground fell far short of those from overhead, with Blackcap the only reasonably well-represented arrival (there were surely several hundred about the island in total but this species is so difficult to census here in autumn!); quality came in the form of a Hen Harrier at the Bill and a Jay at Fortuneswell, as well as totals of 3 Short-eared Owls, 3 Firecrests, 2 Ring Ouzels, a Black Redstart, a Dartford Warbler and the first Fieldfare of the autumn dotted about the centre and south of the island. Gulls continued to dominate offshore, with at least 750 Kittiwakes and 500 Mediterranean Gulls amongst the mix off the Bill where a lone Balearic Shearwater also passed by; the lingering Common Tern was also still at Ferrybridge.