9th August

Unbroken sunshine and increasing warmth saw to it that today was the nicest day for more than a month. Considering the conditions the day's passage highlight was a considerable surprise and came in the form of at least 568 Kittiwakes through off the Bill (there may well have been more but by mid-morning the heat haze and intensity of the sun precluded any more serious seawatching) - we're struggling to remember any similar early autumn movement in the past and can only guess that since the birds were mainly adults (and there were only 4 juveniles) it involved birds that had lost this year's young to avian flu and were beating a hasty retreat to winter quarters; the sea was otherwise rather quiet, with just 32 commic terns, 9 Sandwich Terns, 8 Manx Shearwaters and 3 Teal also through off the Bill. A fair spread of grounded migrants around the Bill included 70 Wheatears, 35 Willow Warblers, 25 Whitethroats, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers and a single Reed Warbler, whilst 170 Ringed Plovers and 82 Dunlin made up the bulk of the Ferrybridge wader total with a lone Greenshank providing some quality there.

Although it seems that conditions are far from set fair even beyond the short term, today's cloudless sky was very welcome indeed © Martin Cade: