So what does all this prove? Well if you were based on Shetland during the first two weeks of the month it was great, though there was distinct north south divide and Fair Isle was generally grim. Presumably birders in Norfolk were throwing themselves in to the sea by the time the Fieldfares started moving and at Spurn the Crown and Anchor's owners are Carribean bound following record takings this autumn.*
The Scillies are now clearly the place for birders to get away from it all, get ripped off, get a nice suntan and to listen to tall stories of how good things used to be. Scilly fans shouldn't take much from any of this, at the end of the day it's about how much you enjoyed yourself. The fact that you spent a months salary on flights, accommodation, beer, boat trips to see whales and had to do a 250 mile detour to Surrey on the way home just to salvage something from the autumn was all part of the fun, I think.
Whilst Ireland came second it was pointed out to me by one Irish Birder that things were pretty bad most of the time and that seeing as much as a Blackcap on some days was good!
Will next autumn tell a similar story, probably not. But I for one will be back up north regardless, I just hope the crowds don't follow suit!
EDIT. Wales added and totals for Nortwest amended