Another relatively still morning (as has been the case for the last 4 mornings) a slight westerly breeze mostly sunny.
Yellow browed Warbler in Belle Tout Wood.
With only a modest arrival of 2 or 3 Yellow browed Warblers into the south east I was pleasantly surprised to find this little fella in the wood this morning. Occurring on the exact same date as my first last year. Oddly silent throughout the time I spent with it and always remaining high up, feeding amongst the clusters of sycamore seeds. No bird says “proper” autumn than one of these. I also had a Pied Flycatcher in the same spot too, possibly my first continental one as I assume the ones that occur here in August to be UK breeders.
Otherwise, the bird situation has remained in a similar vein over the last 4 mornings. Still 100’s if not 1000’s of hirundines moving. Single Garden & Sedge Warbler amongst the heavy Chiffchaff passage (daily counts of 50+) on the 18th. Both Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat are now barely detectable, dwindling from being the two most common migrants 3/4 weeks ago, to now only present in ones and twos during each visit. Skylarks are beginning to feature more prominently with c10 going over on the 18th, as have Reed Bunting with 3 on the same date. Goldcrest numbers are also creeping up towards daily double figures. A Redstart on the 18th was the first I have seen for a good week or so, also perhaps a continental bird. Hobby sightings on the 18th/19th could have been the same bird. A late Swift amongst House Martin on the 18th continued to eek out the long goodbye between my favourite bird and I. That might be my latest mainland UK one for many, many years. I have seen a total 3 later ones during October visits to Scilly.
Swift and House Martin from the 18th
Hobby over Birling.