It was bound to happen. No sooner had I blogged about migrants finally flooding in then the wind swung back to the west, the showers set in, and migration slowed down again. Typical.
The main consequence of this has been a relative status quo for the last week. The red-crested pochard remains on Island Mere. Bitterns, kingfishers and otters continue to show daily at either Island Mere or Bittern Hides. At least two late hobbies are still hanging around, hawking late-flying dragonflies over the reedbeds and woods. Bearded tits are easy to see on calm days - but typically trickier when the wind picks up. An adult yellow-legged gull seems to be a regular visitor to Island Mere in the afternoon, coming in for a wash and preen.
Last week's male ring ouzel remains, and has been joined by two more (another adult male and a juvenile). At least one remains today. A few swallows were seen over the heath midweek, and the odd blackcap remains (or has just returned) in the North Bushes. Other late summer visitors are the small flock of stone-curlews that gathers in front of the deer rut viewpoint, especially in the morning. At least nine were seen this morning.
Among our winter visitors, there are several flocks of siskins, the odd redwing, and the first fieldfare of the winter earlier this week. There's still a lack of starlings locally though - if anyone knows of a local roost, please let me know. Duck numbers continue to build on the Scrape, joined by one or two ruffs, spotted redshanks and grey plovers among the black-tailed godwits and lapwings.
It's always worth looking out to sea, especially in autumn and winter. Red-throated divers can be common, but we had reports of a great northern and possible black-throated diver on Tuesday too. The same day saw sightings of great, Arctic and pomarine skuas as well as the more regular gannets.
Meanwhile, among our commoner resident birds, jays continue to show incredibly well, goldcrests remain common in the North Bushes, several marsh and coal tits are regulars on the visitor centre feeders, while nuthatches prefer the feeders outside the volunteers' chalet. Also, Cetti's warblers are often heard singing from the reedbed margins.
A marsh tit by Jon Evans