This is the month to head to the South West coast, with winds predominantly coming from the west,  Cornwall , Devon and the Isles of Scilly are the places to head for, I will be in Cornwall and on the Isles of  Scilly from the 9th – 19th hoping for an passerine to arrive, I have been going to the Isles of Scilly at this time of year since 1984 and I have seen such rare birds as a Northern Waterthrush, 3 Parula Warblers, 3 Yellow Rumped Warblers, 8 Red eyed Vireos, 3 Blackpoll Warblers, 2 Black and white Warblers,  2 Yellow Billed Cuckoos, 1 Black Billed Cuckoo, 5 Grey Cheeked Thrush, 1 Hermit Thrush , 4 Swainson’s Thrush, 2 Bobolink and many more, this all depends on the weather !

 Closer to home, if we get prolonged west / south west winds, Severn Beach can be very good for sea birds such as Manx shearwaters, Petrels, Skuas, Grey Phalarope and if you are lucky a Sabine’s Gull , best place to look is from the sea wall opposite the village an hour either side of high tide!

With prolonged very strong westerly winds these sea birds can end up on inland lakes, Chew Valley Lake is as good as any; in the past I have seen Sabine’s Gull and Grey Phalarope here.


Recent Bird records (South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the old county of Avon)

26th October

Pintail at Kingsgate Park, only the 2nd record for this site

2 Jack Snipe at Yate common

Great white egret flew over Easton-in-Gordano

Outside of the area a Pallid Harrier is at Steart nature reserve in Somerset




Subalpine Warbler, Richards Pipit, Short toed lark, Ring necked duck, 2 Red breasted flycatcher, 8 Yellow browed warbler, 5 Firecrest, 3 Snow Bunting, 2 Jack snipe, Arctic, Great and Pomarine Skuas, Balearic and Sooty shearwaters, 10+ Ring ouzel and 9 Whooper swans.

Also seen were Prickly Stickinsect, Great green bush cricket and a Monarch butterfly

Snow Bunting @ Saint Mary's
Snow Bunting

Black Redstart @ Saint Mary's
Black Redstart

Richard's Pipit @ Saint Mary's
Richard's Pipit

Prickly Stick Insect @ Saint Mary's
Prickly Stick Insect