A reasonable day which, given the Northern Parula on Tiree, prompted me to have a long flog around isolated bits of cover on the southern Rinns to just see if our luck was in too. Such an activity is one birders indulge in regularly, mostly without a major reward, and so it was!!! We must be eternal optimists but, of course, there's always more than sufficient evidence from elsewhere in the country to where something has occurred to convince most people it could be their turn next!!! In Islay's case our "contribution" of an American Redstart in 1982 and the Brown-headed Cowbird in 1988 are woven in to a silently repeated mantra each autumn that this, again, could be our year. Islay is a big island in many respects, compared to some others, and also has a lot of cover, virtually no active birders and what could be a slavishly covered local patch month in month out might never produce a return. Oh to own a headland with just a few bushes, only a few! And so as I paid homage to the local American Redstart site, I also reflected that we're also exceptionally lucky to have the array of good resident species we enjoy and the regular influx each summer and winter of a wide variety of other species, not really much to grumble about in reality.
One thing that was apparent today though was that a lot of the recent abundant accumulations of Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Twite and Meadow Pipit appear to have moved on. Certainly there are still some parties about , but not to the same extent. Starling flocks and an apparent "second wave" of alba wagtails are now around on the Rinns. The usual influx of Robins has begun, with doubtless more to come, and an odd increase in Blackbirds here and there. As I write this, on the morning of the 1st, the rain is lashing down and the wind beating at the house, just the sort of conditions to bring in an unfortunate migrant!!