26th July

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 29th July.

The Great Shearwater spent another day lingering off the Bill and, in the intermittently wet and windy conditions, it was activity at sea that provided most of the rest of the day's interest. The Bill was watched pretty well throughout and returned totals of 94 Common Scoter, 13 Sandwich Terns, 10 Balearic Shearwaters, 7 Arctic Skuas, a minimum of 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, 4 Great Skuas, a single Great Crested Grebe and plenty of Manx Shearwaters that peaked during the afternoon when a sample count came up with 211 in 80 minutes. Ferrybridge chipped in with 37 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plovers, 11 Common Terns through, 8 Sandwich Terns, 4 Sanderling, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, a Hobby overhead and a Redshank, but it was hard work getting amongst passerines on the land, with a handful of Willow Warblers and 2 Wheatears all that could be mustered in the unhelpful conditions at the Bill.

The Great Shearwater lingered on and off all day and at times showed ridiculously well, coming to within 50 metres of shore for the birders and landing literally underneath the rods of the fishermen working from the bass boats offshore © Martin Cade (video) and Keith Pritchard (stills):

Although they're easy enough to photograph at Portland Harbour/Ferrybridge during the winter months we're not sure we've ever managed before to be in the right spot at the right moment to photograph a fly-by Great Crested Grebe off the Bill  © Martin Cade

Yellow-legged Gulls have staged their best ever post-breeding influx in recent days; this one was at Ferrybridge this morning  © Pete Saunders: