27th August

Another blisteringly hot day - in fact too hot by the afternoon to summon up the enthusiasm for fieldwork! Although holidaymaker-friendly, the conditions were far too nice to have expected much in the way of new grounded migrants and it was left to the plethora of off-passage Yellow Wagtails - including more than 250 at the Bill alone - to provide the best of the entertainment; the scatter of other birds at the Bill included 20 Tree Pipits, 20 Willow Warblers, 13 Sedge Warblers, 8 White Wagtails and 3 Garden Warblers, with the more of the same selection elsewhere including a Golden Plover over Blacknor and a Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge.

Overnight moth-trapping conditions were again favourable for a good haul of resident species but immigrant interest remained subdued with hardly a waft of a breeze to offer assistance to new arrivals; the catch at the Obs included 13 Rush Veneer, 12 Silver Y, 9 Rusty-dot Pearl, 8 Dark Sword Grass, 4 Scarce Bordered Straw, 2 Pearly Underwing and singles of European Corn-borer, Marbled Yellow Pearl, Pine Carpet and Delicate; at least 5 more Scarce Bordered Straw were trapped at other sites, whilst a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found by day at the Grove.

Regular visitors to the blog will know that we're rarely able to give immediate reports on nocturnal sound recording sessions for the simple reason that it takes Nick Hopper so long to thoroughly go through his recordings. Nick's last visit was a case in point, consisting as it did of two very busy nights. We've already mentioned an Ortolan Bunting on the first night - 21st-22nd August - when there were also 124 Tree Pipit calls/pairs of calls (as mentioned before there is a two note call - which can also be three or four very tightly packed calls - that's counted as 1), 22 Robin, 4 Pied Flycatcher and singles of Whimbrel, Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover. On the second night - 22nd-23rd August - there were another 3 Ortolans - at 23.06hrs, 03.16hrs and 04.25hrs - along with 1012 Tree Pipit calls/pairs of calls; the additional totals refer to isolated single or distinct groups of calls that consisted of: 5 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Robin, 2 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Sandpiper, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 4 Turnstone, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Common Snipe, 7 Dunlin, 1 Green Sandpiper and, last but not least, a Common Scoter that was particularly significant because it also came with wingbeats. These wingbeats match exactly the mystery sound that was posted on 9th July 2015 and then revisited on on 14th July where it was postulated that the sounds were wingbeats, the frequency of which matching probably a large duck, which turns out to be pretty spot on! Not only that but a subsequent re-visit to the said recording reveals that the rather anomalous note at 8 seconds is actually a call (along with some very faint ones later) confirming the identity.

On this recording of the second of the three Ortolans it can be heard faintly at 4 secs and clearly at 13secs and 18 secs: