1st October

Rather less than comprehensive coverage today - as much because the early signs from the land, overhead and the sea offered so little encouragement after the passing of last night's wind and rain. However, although the Bill area was indeed impoverished, with little more than 300 Swallows through south and singles of Merlin and Redstart to show for what coverage there was, it later transpired that several pockets of cover up-island harboured really decent numbers of common migrants; nothing untoward was uncovered bar the hearing of a likely Olive-backed Pipit at Suckthumb/Coombefield, with the first presumed migrant Black Redstart of the season at Blacknor the best of the less frequent visitors. Elsewhere, respectable wader numbers at Ferrybridge included 180 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstones and 6 Bar-tailed Godwit.

On a cool, clear night immigrant moth activity was very subdued with the lowest overall total of immigrants in the Obs moth-traps since early July.

Back to an interesting little event from yesterday: on returning during the morning from one of our rounds of the Crown Estate Field nets Grahame Walbridge mentioned to us that he'd heard what sounded like an Olive-backed Pipit call overhead; although Grahame performs sterling service for us with his counting of both vismig and sea passage from the Obs patio he's usually flanked by a selection of verging on profoundly deaf co-observers who, due to their affliction, not only talk rather loudly but also require sightings/directions to be called multiple times before they get the gist of what's going on - in such challenging circumstances even the most aurally acute can be excused for being a tad circumspect in fully claiming a rarity from a single imperfectly heard call! Fortuitously, we've got into the habit of leaving our nocmig gear recording on into the mornings and, on reviewing the sound file later in the day, sure enough there was the tell-tale mark left behind by our passing vagrant...

...Not only did the sonogram look perfect for Olive-backed Pipit but the recording itself sounded spot-on:

Aware of frequent difficulties with fly-over Olive-backed Pipits we ran the recording by James Lidster who's got bags more experience of this species than us and he's kindly confirmed that it looks and sounds fine for one. By way of comparison, here's a random passing Tree Pipit recorded in exactly the same manner back in September: