Finally, finally, a proper autumn day! A brisk SE wind, low cloud and general misty, murky conditions gave the day an exciting feeling (especially after five weeks of westerlies!) and even though the numbers involved were not massive, it was a brilliant day with the bonus of a brilliant quality rare. The bird of the day and probably the autumn so far was a lovely and very distinctive looking BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR which showed very well around Senness, showing off as it fed actively in the deteriorating conditions of the afternoon – a great first for the island!
Other migrant totals through the day across the island (with birds seemingly arriving throughout) included 2 Little Buntings at Trebb and Senness (a third ‘ticking’ Bunting was also seen and heard very briefly at the Obs), the first Long-eared Owl of the autumn, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Hen Harrier, 2 Merlin, a Woodpigeon, 6 Swallows, 30 Rock Pipits, 30 alba Wagtails, 23+ Robins, a Redstart (first one for ages!), 14 Wheatears, 60 Blackbirds, 31 Fieldfare, 4 Song Thrush, 160+ Redwing, 2 Blackcap, 3 new Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 10 Goldcrest, the overdue first Chaffinch of the autumn, 39 Brambling, a Siskin, a Lapland Bunting and 40 Snow Buntings.
It was all about the landbirds today but other little bits of note included 11 Whooper Swans, 13 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Jack Snipe and 275+ Snipe.
Black-eared Wheatear George Gay
Little Bunting Simon Davies
Long-eared Owl Simon Davies