25th August

Storm Francis delivered the goods and more on a day of early rain followed by seemingly ever strengthening winds when the sea was worth watching throughout. The chief prizes were at least 3 Great Shearwaters through off Chesil Cove (one of which also passed the Bill) but as a spectacle the day's wader numbers took some beating: Ferrybridge was awash with an ever-changing carpet of waders that included peak counts of 530 Dunlin, 200 Ringed Plovers, 26 Sanderling, 7 Whimbrel, 6 Knot and a Ruff, whilst what were surely unprecedented autumn totals of passing waders at Chesil Cove included 294 Dunlin, 35 Ringed Plovers, 14 Sanderling, 11 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone and a Snipe. In many ways the rest of the day's events were an anticlimax with, Gannets and Fulmars aside, little on the move in quantity: the Storm Petrel tally at Chesil Cove likely reached double figures  - with a Leach's also reported, shearwaters included 2 Balearics off the Bill, 6 Great and 2 Arctic Skuas passed the Bill, a Little Gull was at Chesil Cove and terns included 12 Arctics at Ferrybridge.

Once an almost mythical rarity at Portland, Great Shearwaters are now almost to be expected during freakish conditions in late summer © Joe Stockwell:

Ruff and Whimbrel amongst the multitude of waders at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders: