A classic observatory day

A south-easterly breeze saw me at the point by dawn, looking out to sea. Passage was light, save for a drake Red-breasted Merganser and a Short-eared Owl. The walk back to the observatory was enlivened by a brief flurry of finches overhead (which included a flock of 13 Crossbills), plus the first signs of grounded migrants in the exposed broom (mainly Goldcrests but including 2 Black Redstarts). There was no sign of these birds on my earlier walk down.

By 08.30 the crests started to arrive in earnest, together with more Black Redstarts. It was turning into one of those special observatory days! A 'tacking' phylloscopus warbler was finally nailed as a Dusky, this bird showing briefly on a few occasions between the power station fence and the sanctuary. Most of the crests quickly moved through and the Black Redstarts began to drift northwards. Final day totals were 100 and 50 respectively. It was a delight to watch the chats, at times 8 on a bungalow roof at once, including some very smart males.

Other highlights included a late Tree Pipit, a male Dartford Warbler (thus different from yesterday's) and a Ring Ouzel. I missed a Great Grey Shrike and, together with Martin C, had brief views of what was quite possibly a Red-throated Pipit.

Same again tomorrow? Yes please!


The nights have been misty, and one wonders what is making its way over in these skies

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