1st August

Of interest to visitors this weekend: a local event in the National Whale & Dolphin Watch programme is being held near the Bill lighthouse on Sunday:

August got off to a great start with lovely quiet, warm weather and the first really decent little fall of migrants of the autumn. The Bill got most of what relatively little coverage there was and returned totals of 300 Swallows, 200 each of Sand Martin and Willow Warbler, 30 Sedge Warblers, 2 each of Ringed Plover, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap, and singles of Grey Heron, Cuckoo, Robin (the first likely migrant of the season) and Garden Warbler; limited looks elsewhere produced additions in the form of a Pied Flycatcher at Thumb Lane and 2 Whimbrel, 2 Wheatears and a Little Gull at Ferrybridge. Action on the millpond-calm sea included 100 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 each of Manx and Balearic Shearwaters off the Bill.

We're not sure if today's Ferrybridge Little Gull was one of the individuals that was there a few days ago but if it was it's providing a nice object lesson in the transition from first-summer to second-winter plumage © Debby Saunders (top) and Pete Saunders (bottom):

And a really terrible photo of the freakily great-looking Cuckoo, the capture of which marked pretty well the end of the day's migrant action at the Obs - it was a nice little flurry while it lasted but the weather was far too nice for much to linger today © Martin Cade:

We're well aware that we've been very remiss this year in not bringing some of our ringing recoveries to a wider audience (...hint to our visiting ringers: this would be a really useful job for one of you to help with!) so in the hope that we can find a bit of time to make progress with this we'll get the ball rolling with a Sandwich Tern from a couple of days ago. This colour-ringed bird dropped in at Ferrybridge on 29th July and Debby Saunders kindly tracked down the ringing details via Date Lutterop in The Netherlands: it was ringed as a breeding adult in a colony at Griend on the Wadden Sea in 2018 and was probably breeding in a different colony at Wagejot on the island of Texel this year © Debby Saunders: