6th August

After a night of pretty well constant and at times heavy rain it was a bit of a surprise to find at least some new arrivals had made landfall; numbers were hardly spectacular but a concentration of 20 Sedge Warblers and 5 Grasshopper Warblers in the Crown Estate Field was of particular note. Although the sky was largely clear by dawn visible passage barely featured, with a handful of Swifts, 2 Redshank and a Greenshank the best on offer over the Bill. Yesterday's trickle of sea passage had dried up, with no more than 10 Common Scoter and a Great Skua through off the Bill during the morning, but a Long-tailed Skua that lingered offshore for a few minutes was a surprise bonus in the evening. Ferrybridge again came up with the best of the numbers, with Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Common Terns all well into three figures today.

Despite the grim overnight conditions immigrant numbers bounced back in the moth-traps, with 73 Marbled Piercer, 43 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Vagrant Piercer, 2 Rush Veneer and singles of Maiden's Blush, Cream-bordered Green Pea and Silver Y, together with 2 Common Darter dragonflies, logged at the Obs.

Finally, whilst away last week we missed the opportunity to pass on everyone's thanks to the staff and volunteers who oversaw such a stunningly successful breeding season for the Little Terns at Ferrybridge; John Dadds kindly passed us this summary: 'It has been another fantastic record breaking year with 33 pairs nesting (up from 25 last year) and producing between 50 and 60 fledglings 1.5-1.8 productivity) which as well as beating last years record breaking productivity of 1.2 is also the highest number of fledglings since records began, the previous best being around 40 when the colony was much bigger. The majority of birds settled on the sand patches provided and the rest had sand put under the eggs. This, along with the mostly good weather, lead to a very high hatching rate with 68 chicks. There were a few casualties to kestrels and herring gulls but the team of RSPB staff and 40 local volunteers helped keep losses down.' 

Common Terns - Ferrybridge, 6th August 2014 © Pete Saunders