3rd October

In pleasantly quiet and very birdable conditions the volume of passage overhead made up for inadequacies on the ground. With the onshore breeze rather light, movement overhead was on too broad a front to allow for anything other than a sample count but the morning totals from the Obs patio included 2500 Meadow Pipits, 415 Linnets, 350 Swallows, 275 alba wagtails, 150 Goldfinches, 47 Skylarks, 40 Chaffinches, 13 Siskins and 12 Reed Buntings; 2 Merlins and a departing Kestrel were amongst the miscellaneous lower totals. The sea also ticked over from that viewpoint, where 60 Balearic Shearwaters, 24 Common Scoter, 2 each of Brent Goose, Wigeon and Arctic Skua, and a lone Teal were logged; 2 Black-throated Divers also snuck by at the Bill tip itself. The grounded migrant totals couldn't compete with those from overhead but there was still plenty enough to scrutinize, with Meadow Pipits in particular absolutely everywhere including 1000 or more around the south of the island; further Bill totals included 50 Chiffchaffs, 25 Stonechats and 15 Blackcaps, with the long-staying Turtle Dove the best of the rest. Amongst a more of the same selection elsewhere, the wader tally at Ferrybridge included 138 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plovers, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Sanderling.

The quiet conditions were more favourable for moth-trapping with a noticeable increase in numbers of the more routine immigrants (for example, Rusty-dot Pearl and Rush Veneer up to 42 and 56 respectively at the Obs where their totals yesterday had been 31 and 10); singles of Pink-barred Sallow at the Obs and Barred Sallow at the Grove were infrequent strays of note, whilst the first Flame Brocades of the season were on the wing at Blacknor and the Grove).

We've just been too busy lately to have even begun to keep up with the backlog of nocmig recordings (...the downloaded soundfiles have got so out of hand that they even crashed the Obs computer the other day!) but, to answer the oft put question of recent days 'why haven't we had any Redwings', we did have a run through last night's recording. This immediately answered that query by revealing that there are plenty of Redwings passing over but obviously none have been bothering to drop in:

A familiar sight on the sonogram to anyone who's had a try at nocmiging - this Redwing passed over the Obs at 01:30 this morning and was followed by a steady trickle of others until shortly before dawn:

Far more of a surprise package for us was the amount of Meadow Pipit passage ongoing overnight: we've hardly ever detected concerted Meadow Pipit passage over the Bill during the hours of darkness (you get the odd one now and again but they're just as likely birds that have been disturbed from their roost sites) but last night there were regular parties of them overhead from the early hours onwards - we haven't finished the tally yet but it'll certainly be in the dozens of loggings; here's a group at 05:15 which even that late in the night is still getting on for two hours before sunrise at this time of year:

And another little snippet from last night: as is customary at this time of year there was bags of Little Owl activity throughout the hours of darkness - here's one setting off another close to Obs at 05:55 (with the accompanying chugging of the day's first fishing boat passing by off East Cliffs):