7th August

Conditions overnight and at dawn - clear and moonlit throughout - favoured the birds rather than the birders today and the grounded spread was on the thin side. That said, there was plenty enough to keep occupied with 60 Wheatears and 25 Willow Warblers making up the bulk at the Bill where singles of Yellow Wagtail, Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler were of note; Ringed Plovers are to the fore at Ferrybridge now, with their tally of 170 making up more than two-thirds of the wader total there. An increasing cloud cover as the morning wore on put the block on visible passage just as things looked to be picking up and totals over the Bill didn't get much beyond 100 Swallows, 80 Sand Martins, 30 Swifts and 4 Tree Pipits; additionally, a flock of c50 egrets heading away high west over the Bill were suspected by the observer who saw them best to be Little Egrets and this fact was evidently confirmed when they later flew past West Bexington. A steady passage of 77 Common Scoter and 61 Mediterranean Gulls provided most of the interest off the Bill, where singles of Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua and Yellow-legged Gull also passed by.

Chief in-hand interest today came in the form of the re-capture at Culverwell of the juvenile Cirl Bunting first ringed there on 19th July (and only seen very infrequently since then). It's now getting on with its post-juvenile moult, to the extent that we were confident it'll turn out to be a male - even at a glance the throat and ear-covert surrounds are looking pretty black, whilst closer examination showed that underneath the cloaking mantle feathers the scapulars are already getting richly chestnut © Martin Cade: