11th November

A calm day has been long overdue and was very welcome but proved to be a little less productive than had been hoped. A likely Siberian Lesser Whitethroat in Helen's Fields was a nice find and an overflying Marsh Harrier at the Bill was an oddity for mid-November but the anticipated rush of thrushes didn't materialise and the only certain new arrivals - 10 Reed Buntings, 7 Redwings, 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps at the Bill and a few extra ChiffchaffsGoldcrests and the like at Wakeham - were a poor return from the ground. Five Purple Sandpipers, 2 Short-eared Owls and 2 Black Redstarts at the Bill were likely just winterers resurfacing in the benign conditions; the Long-tailed Duck also remained at Ferrybridge. It was busier overhead, with 5960 Wood Pigeons, 650 Starlings, 190 Goldfinches, 140 Chaffinches, 55 Linnets and 40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls making up the numbers at the Bill, where 20 Siskins, 6 Bramblings, 3 Redpolls and a Snipe provided a bit of quality. Ten Brent Geese, 2 Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver passed through on the sea at the Bill.

Today's Lesser Whitethroat was the fourth 'eastern' bird of the autumn - the first two have been genetically confirmed as Siberian blythi birds, the third is still awaiting lab confirmation and, although not trapped and critically examined, we'd guess at today's bird being another blythi © Jodie Henderson:

Thrush passage hasn't been far off non-existent so far this autumn so a handful of Redwings were a welcome sight today; the trapped bird was only the sixth ringed at the Bill during October and November, although that seems an almost respectable total when compared with the woefully low tallies of 17 apiece for both Blackbird and Song Thrush - presumably the many thrushes that arrived further north and east back in October filtered inland where they've got ensconced having found plenty of food © Martin Cade