16th July

Perhaps the poor numbers seen this spring has lowered our expectations, but the recent arrival of small numbers of autumnal migrants has been a genuine and unexpected pleasure to behold so early in the season. Today saw another flurry of up to 20 Willow Warblers (the majority sporting the lemon yellow adornments of the younger generation), a new Sedge Warbler in addition to yesterday's bird that was still about, a flurry of incoming Whitethroats and the first departing Garden Warbler. It was not only the bushes showing signs of the impending changing seasons, but the sky as well with Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit adding to the autumnal ambience. The presence on the sea of nearly 70 Mediterranean Gulls, 37 Manx Shearwaters and 18 Balearic Shearwaters added to the general feeling that the summer breeding season is starting to wind down to a close. Ferrybridge continued this form with 157 Mediterranean Gulls on the mud flats, with a single Redshank the only wader of note.

It is sometimes hard to believe that the British blue butterflies are British at all. From the pale, dusky shade of this Chalkhill Blue to the electric of an Adonis, they're all pretty spectacular © Roy Norris:

We've been hugely impressed by some of the breathtakingly lovely images posted online just recently of the NEOWISE comet (for example, check out @guyedwardes offerings on Twitter). Of course, the camera can be made to lie very effectively and in real life it isn't quite the celestial spectacle that might be imagined; that said, from the Bill we've still been really enjoying watching its progress in recent nights. Currently it's visible looking more or less straight up the Obs driveway...

...and even our utterly inept attempts at night sky photography make the scene appear quite compelling - particularly when we forget to switch off Erin's moth-trap and so inadvertently leave the Obs tower bathed in blue actinic light © Martin Cade: