7th October

Those that talked up the overdue return of quiet conditions got a bit of a rude awakening when dawn broke to the accompaniment of the lighthouse fog signal and murkiness cloaking the island; it was also soon apparent that if they had been on the move then most nocturnal migrants passed high overhead without even being aware of our presence let alone feeling any desire to drop in on us (...later examination of the nocmig recording indicated that either next to nothing had been on the move or what there was had been way too high to be audible). More far-ranging fieldwork did eventually bolster the day's tally to the extent that Blackcap and Chiffchaff both reached towards three-figure totals around the centre and south of the island and seasonable fare such as Stonechats were suddenly conspicuous everywhere. Numbers overhead were significant down on those logged under the clearer skies of recent days, with nothing of particular note beyond the likes of two Merlins and late-ish Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipit over the Bill. The shift from offshore gale to gentle onshore breeze perked up sea totals that were straight away at an impressive level due to the presence of a huge feeding flock of c3000 Herring Gulls and many hundreds of other gulls offshore; 240 constituted an autumn peak to date for Common Scoter, whilst further waterfowl interest came in the form of 20 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, four Teal and two Wigeon; nine Arctic and four Great Skuas were the best of the rest.