20th November

Another day for the sea watchers with strong cold winds hampering the coverage of the land. The Bill produced a couple of nice highlights including 4 Velvet Scoters in amongst the 48 Common Scoters, 11 Eiders (of which 4 were stonking males), 3 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 12 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Red-throated Divers, and a male Red-breasted Merganser. A furtive Long-eared Owl roosting in the Obs garden was the highlight from the land; 3 new Goldcrests also showed up there, with further variety in the form of 7 Redwings, a Lapwing, 2 Redshanks, 4 Turnstones and a Brambling at the Bill and a Black Redstart at Reap Lane.

Ferrybridge saw a small increase in waders with 5 Curlew, a lone Lapwing, a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits and 22 Oystercatchers; one of the Black Brants also showed up there along with a Goosander, 3 Pale-bellied Brents and a large flock of 13 Shelducks.

We're well aware from previous experience that Long-eared Owls are past masters at escaping detection in the Obs garden and today's bird was only given away by the fuss it elicited from the local Magpies and Jackdaws once they'd discovered it. After a couple of fleeting flight views it was lost for several hours before we completely fluked it after peering into an umpteenth hole in a hedge and finding it staring right back at us at point blank range © Martin Cade:

We're not sure what the highest ever count of Shelducks at Ferrybridge has been but today's 13 must run it pretty close if it's any higher © Pete Saunders:

Record shots from the Obs lounge were the order of the day with the scarcer wildfowl - these Eider settled off East Cliffs were the second group of the day, whilst the Velvet Scoters passed by along with what proved to be the best movement of Common Scoters of the month to date © Martin Cade: