16th October

Far from easy birding today in a blasting easterly but there were birds about for those that persevered. By far the best was an overflying Richard's Pipit at the Bill, with the season's first Brambling and the first signs of late autumn vismig - including 3500 departing Wood Pigeons and the 150 arriving Starlings - showed just how quickly the season's advancing. Grounded arrivals were far from easy to get amongst but included increased numbers of Chiffchaffs everywhere and a lone Ring Ouzel at West Weare. Apart from the aforementioned Wood Pigeons and Starlings, overhead passage wasn't heavy and was dominated by Meadow Pipits and a variety of finches, none of which were particularly numerous. The sea ticked over all day, with totals that included 250 Kittiwakes, 220 Mediterranean Gulls, 73 Common Scoter, 14 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Brent Geese, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Pomarine Skuas and a Great Skua.

The Richard's Pipit didn't oblige beyond a few calls and a snatched record-shot for its observer © Joe Stockwell:

Seasonable fare included the first Brambling...

...and the first signs of Starling immigration © Joe Stockwell:

There's always hope and even expectation when the little patch of burdocks beside the Bill Quarry hosts the likes of multiples of Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest © Martin Cade: