October now seems the best bet to catch up with scarcer gulls at the Wetlands. Photographs suggest there may have been three Caspian Gulls seen this month (and perhaps four over the Autumn) with 1Ws seen on the 19th, 21st, 22nd, 25th and 28th. The month also seems the best time to catch up with Yellow-legged Gulls at the reservoirs. The first was an adult found on the 11th by CF remarkably on the same day and the same railings on High Maynard as last year. This was followed by a run of young birds with DC finding a 1W on the 14th, three on 21st - six days later than three were seen last year - with one remaining on the 24th.
Late terns have always got a good chance of being Arctic Terns and that seems to be case of the bird photographed by MLP on the 20th. After a two-month stay in which it hardly ever showed, the Little Owl was last heard on the 2nd. The third Short-eared Owl was on the 22nd over Lockwood - again on exactly the same date as last year.
October is also a good month for Jackdaw passage and although numbers did not run into the hundreds as they did in 2019, 54 were seen on the 16th and 42 on 9th with smaller numbers both over and on the reservoirs on other days. Skylark movement was also stronger than last year when only five were seen all month. Birds were recorded on at least six days with three on both the 8th & 24th.
Single Swallows, which were not seen in October last year, were recorded on the 3rd, 9th and 20th with a late Reed Warbler as well on the 2nd. Blackcaps are not regular winterers at the reservoirs so the male seen on the 31st may again be a late migrant. The first Firecrest of the year was heard at the north end of Lockwood on the 22nd by DC and was still there, and still hidden, next day.
Fieldfare passage, just like last year, was light with just the odd bird over or on the reservoirs until a flock of 50 on the 24th. This was not the case with Redwing although movement was crammed into two days. Over 60 were seen on the 8th before an estimated 1000-plus flew over next day - twice the highest daily count last year.
A Black Redstart made a brief appearance on the 27th. No Wheatears were seen last October (although like Swallow a winter bird later turned up) but this year there was a single on the 16th, two for the next two days with one remaining until the 23rd. Up to four Stonechats were around the reservoirs usually on West Warwick.
The rocky shorelines attracted Rock Pipits on Lockwood on the 15th and No 5 on the 27th. The first Lesser Redpoll of the year was at the north end of Lockwood on the 8th with two more on the 12th. There was a flurry of Siskins with birds on five days with 15 in several small flocks on the 25th the highest count.