21st August

August days don't come much wilder than today, with fierce 60+mph winds that blew in overnight abating only a little through the hours of daylight. As it usually does during a storm, Chesil Cove produced the bulk of the quality on the sea, with 3 Long-tailed Skuas, 7 Balearic Shearwaters and singles of Arctic Skua, Great Skua and Little Gull the highlights; the Bill was quieter, with 16 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Balearic Shearwaters and a Storm Petrel as good as it got. Ferrybridge is usually good for some wrecked variety and some extensive coverage there came up with a Grey Phalarope, 5 Kittiwakes, 5 Little Terns, 3 Knot, 3 Arctic Terns, 2 Whimbrel and a Little Gulls amongst others.

Long-tailed Skua is a classic 'birder's bird' at Portland: anyone who puts time in with seawatching will likely have seen a few here but for the lister it can be a really tricky species to catch up with, what with most being fly-bys at the Bill or Chesil Cove; it's also a bird that's fantastically difficult to photograph at Portland: most are too distant or pass in tricky conditions, whilst the occasional close fly-bys always seem to present themselves to observers who don't have a camera to hand! Two of today's birds lingered for several hours in the Cove where they did come just about close enough on occasions to permit some rather evocative video footage © Joe Stockwell:

Ferrybridge is so good at providing variety on a stormy day © Debby Saunders (settled Grey Phalarope) and Pete Saunders (other photos):

After apparently going missing the Grey Phalarope returned to Ferrybridge at last light when a Little Gull also dropped in © Martin Cade: