15th November

Another day packed with movement - this time taking place over quite a broad front which made for a tricky collation of everyone's numbers; the fact that most of the action took place under a cloudless sky and in pleasantly warm sunshine with barely a breath of breeze was even more of a bonus. Incoming Starlings were most conspicuous at the Bill where they totalled 990; the thrush tally was more problematic save to say that Redwing and Blackbird exceeded 200 each, Fieldfare and Song Thrush chipped in with more than 100 apiece, whilst singles of Ring Ouzel and Mistle Thrush were welcome after their dismal showings this autumn. Finch-wise, both Brambling and Siskin got to the 30-40 level but there were fewer Chaffinches than in recent days. A good miscellany of lower totals included 5 Woodcocks, 3 Lapwings, 3 Swallows and singles of Merlin, Dunlin (inbound with a flock of Starlings!), Woodlark and Jay. It remained very slow on the ground save for the likes of thrushes dropping in briefly for a break: a handful of new Blackcaps were in evidence, whilst 4 Short-eared Owls, 4 Black Redstarts, the 2 lingering Siberian Chiffchaffs (and a likely third individual new in at Avalanche Road) and a Firecrest were scattered about the south of the island. Three Little Auks together through off the Bill were a nice surprise from some otherwise uneventful seawatching.

An interesting array of late insects still active in the warm sunshine included Painted Lady, Small White, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Common Darter, Field Grasshopper, Dark Bush-cricket and Southern Oak Bush-cricket.

One of the day's Fieldfares © Pete Saunders: