25th October

Lovely mild albeit a little too breezy conditions were the order of the day and did little for the quality of the birding, with migrant numbers remaining well below what might be hoped. The lingering Hen Harrier at the Bill was the choicest of the highlights, with 6 Firecrests (4 at Church Ope Cove and 2 at the Obs), 2 Merlins and a Black Redstart providing further interest. A presence of a few bands of showery rain out in the Channel perhaps put off many prospective diurnal migrants, although 360 Wood Pigeons, 225 Goldfinches, 55 Jackdaws and 27 Siskins did chance their arm and go for it. Nocturnal arrivals were few in number and low in quality, with no particular surprises amongst what odds and ends were discovered. Sea interest concerned just the rump of the recent gull influx, amongst which 300 Mediterranean Gulls would usually constitute a really good total were it not for the excesses of recent days.

For such a big, conspicuous bird frequenting a relatively small area the Hen Harrier can be remarkably unobtrusive, mainly through spending ages settled out of view; we're presuming this is because it's finding plenty of food so there isn't much reason for it to spend long on the wing © Martin Cade:

Up-island Great Spotted Woodpeckers do at least have a greater choice of trees than those that visit the Bill but even then you get a odd dozy one like this bird at Southwell that decided a TV aerial was an appropriate perch © Dan Law: