The strong easterly wind continued through the day on the 23rd which, coupled with the overcast conditions and rain moving in by late afternoon built expectations up further and further; the first and best bird to mention though was a summer plumaged adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER seen well by one observer in torchlight up near the Lighthouse – it was located as we were on a dazzling expedition and the lucky (or unlucky) individual nearly had the net on the bird before it disappeared into the night, not to be seen again, hopefully he got enough on the bird to put a good description in!
The rest of the day proved to be a bit of an anti-climax with the merest trickle of new arrivals hinting what was out there waiting for the rain to drop them in; new birds included 3 Kestrels, 10 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and a Short-eared Owl along with 3 Herons, 15 Black-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank.
The recent rough nights have been great for dazzling, with the 4th and 5th Black-tailed Godwits ever to be ringed on the island the highlights
After a very wet and windy night, dawn on the 24th was oddly calm and dry allowing a two-hour window in which to open some nets at Holland House and pretty much the first bird caught was a cracking GREENISH WARBLER – autumn had finally arrived!
The weather then proceeded to throw a variety of conditions at us, with several hours of solid rain, followed by several hours of thick fog followed by a calm, clear evening revealing a thin but widely scattered spread of new migrants with a juvenile Dotterel on Torness new for the year and 3 Tree Pipits and 2 Grasshopper Warblers new for the autumn along with, 5 Kestrels, 4 Garden Warblers, a Whinchat, 21 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and 2 Robins. Other birds included a Pintail (first one since 6th July), 2 Grey Plovers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Ruff, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, a Short-eared Owl and 20 Sand Martins.
Photos Simon Davies