30th October

Although hardly conventional vismig conditions - it remained buffetingly windy after a weather front cleared through after dawn and the sky was still full of threatening cloud - a decent passage developed over the Bill that included 8550 Wood Pigeons, 750 Goldfinches, 600 Starlings, 410 Linnets, 350 Chaffinches, 180 Siskins, 150 Meadow Pipits, 75 Skylarks, 75 alba wagtails and 25 Bramblings, with 3 Woodlarks and singles of Merlin and Hawfinch providing some bonus quality; a Snow Bunting also passed over at Easton. On the ground, the Hen Harrier lingered on but numbers bore no relation to was what was happening overhead: a Treecreeper at Pennsylvania Castle was a nice local highlight, but 3 Firecrests, a Black Redstart and a late Common Redstart were all that could be mustered by way of quality amongst the paltry spread of commoner fare around the centre and south of the island. Some concerted watching of the sea for two hours at the Bill returned totals of 1173 Gannets and 652 Mediterranean Gulls along with a  single Balearic Shearwater

A late-ish Sandwich Tern at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders:

The discovery of this Treecreeper at Pennsylvania Castle caused a mini flap because the initial image posted indicated it had noticeably dirty rear flanks - a fact quickly confirmed by those who rolled up to see it. Sadly, thoughts of something more interesting fizzled out once its seemingly rather short bill and long hind-claw were visible...

 ...and scrutiny of the wing-pattern doesn't seem to show up anything amiss for a Common Treecreeper: amongst other even more subtle features, there's a noticeable step in the pale wing-bar between primaries 6 and 7, primary 4 has a decent-sized spot at the distal end of the wing-bar and the spacing of the tips of the longest primaries look to be conspicuously uneven. Of course, the call would have been a welcome complete clincher but it wasn't heard to utter a sound © Martin Cade: