22nd July

Subtle changes afoot with a fresher northeasterly breeze blowing all day that took the edge off the continuing heat for all but the still stifling middle of the day. Melodious Warbler's always been a likely first oddity of the autumn at this time of year and, despite the seemingly unpropitious-looking conditions, one duly appeared beside the Bunkhouse late in the afternoon. Routine migrants on the ground were limited to low single figure totals of Sedge and Willow Warblers, with 2 Yellow Wagtails and a few Sand Martins overhead. A varied selection through on the sea included a strong pulse of 170 Mediterranean Gulls, along with 50 Common Scoter, 31 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Dunlin, 4 Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, a Great Skua and a tardy Puffin. The wader selection at Ferrybridge included 20 Dunlin, 2 Sanderlings, a Knot and a Redshank.

With the winds not exactly favourable for helping it over the Channel this afternoon's Melodious Warbler was an unexpected and also rather serendipitous discovery by an observer following up a report of several fritillary butterflies in the vicinity; the butterflies didn't oblige but for a few minutes the Melodious Warbler - that had all the look of a bird that had just dropped in high up on West Cliffs - showed quite well © Martin Cade:

Since Common Tern ageing has been shown to be pretty tricky we're guessing this bird at Ferrybridge this morning can only be recorded as being in non-breeding plumage although the apparent freshness of the primaries presumably indicates it's more likely a first- or second-summer (we're presuming the apparent secondary bar - if there were one it would have to be a first-summer as these would be juvenile feathers - is just a photo illusion since it's only really showing on one wing and, besides, it doesn't look as though these feathers are unduly worn) © Pete Saunders: