30th August

A definite autumnal chill to the morning as the biting northerly rustled the rapidly browning and vanishing leaves of the 'Brambling Tree'. This feeling was confirmed as the day warmed slowly with Spotted Flycatchers emerging steadily throughout the garden. The autumnal bonanza unfurled before our eyes as the early morning passage of Tree Pipits and Yellow Wagtails were replaced by Redstarts, Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers. After the wind dropped to a gentle breeze the Spotted Flycatchers revealed themselves in force with the Obs tally topping 20 birds, and the gentle 'clicking' call being the dominant sound around the garden pond. A noticeable increase in Robin numbers indicated the beginning of their often overlooked passage, and a Reed Warbler trapped in the canopy net indicated the birds intentions of moving not loitering. Away from the nets, good numbers of Whitethroats were noted across the Bill, as well as 75 Wheatears and three Whinchats in the Strips. Ferrybridge continued its recent form with seven Curlew, 16 Sanderling and a lone Knot along with a trickle of wagtails and Wheatears. The only sea reports were of a lone Great Skua through off the Bill and, rather unusually, a Teal settled close off East Cliffs.

It's an oft asked question: why did they dream up calling this a Spotted Flycatcher? © Martin Cade:

This weekend saw a really big influx of 'Cabbage Whites' at the Bill, with the Red Valerian and Buddleias at the Obs absolutely plastered with them. They're one of those things that you so take for granted that, until we started trying to work out why some of the Small Whites weren't Southern Small White - well, you've got to be optimistic - we don't think we'd ever fully grasped the perfectly obvious difference between the sexes in both Large and Small White © Martin Cade: