19th August

Although there was a good deal of variety today, numbers remained well below par for this stage of the autumn. At the Bill only Wheatear (25), Willow Warbler (20) and Tree Pipit (11) made it into double figures, with a single overflying Golden Plover being the only oddity. Improved coverage of other island areas was particularly welcome and, amongst a similar spread of routine fare, came up with noteworthy sightings in the form of the long-staying Hooded Crow at Admiralty Quarry, a Little Ringed Plover and a Pied Flycatcher at Wakeham/Bumpers Lane and 3 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Knot at Ferrybridge. Odds and ends through on the sea at the Bill included 49 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Balearic Shearwaters and a lone Great Skua.

Hummingbird Hawk-moths continued to increase, with it likely that 100 or more were present on the island today.

A party of c35 small cetaceans, most likely Common Dolphins, headed west off the Bill during the afternoon.

Ringed Plover and Great Black-backed Gull - Ferrybridge, 15th and 17th August 2014 © John Wall (Ringed Plover) and Martin Cade (GBBGull)

...these two colour-ringed/flagged birds were both at Ferrybridge in recent days. The Ringed Plover was first marked as a chick near Malmö in southern Sweden on 15th May 2013; it was also present in the same area during this summer's breeding season. The Great Black-backed Gull was first marked as a chick on Sark, Channel Isles, on 19th June 2011; it was subsequently sighted on nearby Guernsey in February and March 2012, and again in January and September 2013. Thanks to Peter Olsson and Paul Veron for replying so promptly with these details.
And little curiosity from today: at various times we'd heard what we took to be a Lesser Whitethroat calling from in and around the Obs garden so it was quite a surprise when the bird was finally mist-netted and turned out to be a Common Whitethroat - had it not have called as frequently in the hand as it had done in the field we'd have put money on the fact that there must have been two birds involved! Have a listen to some calls that Joe recorded whilst it was in the hand:

...and here's the bird - a moulting adult male - in the hand (© Martin Cade):