Today was one of the best days we have had for a while, the sun was out, there was a clear blue sky extending as far as you could see and there was a light cold breeze from the south east. Today also saw the departure of our last few guests of the year and as they left the island was left with just nine brave souls on the island.
It was clear from dawn that birds were around. Two Long-tailed Tits at least were seen and heard in the garden at Cristen first thing and Jackdaws were of note with flocks heading up and down the island all morning, an estimate of 340 was probably a little conservative. Along with these other corvids were around too with 25 Rooks and 12 Carrion Crows. A large Starling flock was watcher from Cristen as it moved around the island settling at the north end in the maritime heath, again an estimate of 633 was the minimum count. As we were sat watching all this go on, finches were heading over in numbers too with 194 Chaffinches, 13 Bramblings, 42 Siskins, seven Goldfinches and two Redpolls all through mostly in the morning. Then a surprise of a Red Kite drifted over the observatory and onto the west coast whee it was watched heading up and down a few time being constantly harassed by Magpies. Thrushes along with the cold breeze gave the island a winter feel also, Fieldfares were in abundant with 26 heard mostly around Cristen, Redwings went over 'seeping' as they did and number built up to a day total of 42 and Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were in lower numbers with eight and two respectively. As always when other birds are on the move, Skylarks were evident heard heading through the island but often at such a height you can't find them in the sky. A day total of 33 marked a good day.
Other birds of interest included a single Sparrowhawk, four Snipe, a single Woodcock and a lone Reed Bunting.