A poor day in many respects until things settled down in the late afternoon. Rain squalls overnight had obviously grounded a few migrants and their continuation seemed also to be causing Meadow Pipits to be " backing up", unable to continue in the strong winds and rain. Northern Wheatear, Common Whitethroat and Lesser Redpoll were all in evidence with two small flocks of the latter.
Spent the early part of the day examining the counts from last winter of Grey lag Geese, kindly supplied by Maragret Morris, Goose Management Officer ( SNH ). Certainly, in 2008-2009, the large numbers in September appeared to reduce by around two-thirds in October, even before the main arrival of Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted Geese. The remaining birds maintained their numbers within certain limits until into the New Year and then commenced to reduce with no obvious pulse of birds returning. Clearly it will be necessary to look at all the figures again and to compare the results against the forthcoming winter to see if a pattern emerges. Already there appears to be quite a lot of birds around but not as tighly flocked as previuosly.
As a reminder that winter is approaching (!!) a report from the Western Isles included a sighting of Light -bellied Brent Geese moving south.