29th May

A tolerably pleasant still and overcast dawn rather belied what was in store for the rest of the day, with the drizzly rain that set in by mid-morning a precursor to the misty low cloud and freshening wind that spoilt the rest of the day. A Curlew Sandpiper at Ferrybridge was the pick of the few new arrivals that also included 4 Spotted Flycatchers at the Bill.

We have a sketchy memory of reading somewhere that many/most sub-adult Curlew Sandpipers remain in Africa during their first summer so it's been a bit of a surprise that several of the late spring records at Ferrybridge over the years - like this evening's individual - have involved birds in non-breeding plumage. Our knowledge of wader ageing is pretty scant but we took it that this bird was indeed a first-summer and that fact looks to be confirmed by the moult discontinuity in the primaries - new outer feathers and old, worn inners (it seems that an adult ought to have more uniform primaries - as well as also presumably showing at least some signs of breeding plumage by now) © Martin Cade:

Ken Dolbear has asked us to draw attention to the second instalment of his review of the accelerating decline of the flora and fauna of Portland: