19th September

The stir-up in the weather associated with the remains of Hurricane Lee manifested itself in pretty unpleasant conditions throughout, with seawatching occupying the majority of the day. Three Cory's Shearwaters through off the Bill and another through at Chesil Cove were the chief rewards, with at least one Long-tailed Skua (and another couple of likely candidates) a further bonus off the Bill. Routine passage wasn't rip-roaring, with c270 Kittiwakes, 74 Balearic Shearwaters, 14 Arctic Skuas, 12 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua through off the Bill. The only other reports were from Ferrybridge where 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Little Stint, a Knot and a Greenshank were amongst the waders and a Merlin passed through.

The day's Arctic Skuas afforded a range of viewing opportunities...

...but the Great Skua and the majority of the Balearic Shearwaters weren't really so obliging...

...whilst the Cory's Shearwaters were, as usual, rather camera-shy to say the least:

We'd like to furnish viewers with some nice video of a Bill Cory's but since we can't we'll have to fall back on this random (or maybe not so random?) selection of Pendeen Cory's that obliged during the course of our family summer holiday in Cornwall back in August - the weather was terrible for a summer holiday but great for a couple of nice seawatches. Out of interest, the closest of these birds are at c800 metres range, whilst the more distant ones must be at a fair bit over a kilometre away:

And finally a little bit of amusing ineptness on our part. Just last week we maligned having so little time for any birding after teatime and by the time we managed to get to Ferrybridge this evening it was already semi-dark as well as drizzling heavily. During a scan through the waders we came upon a ghostly-pale Tringa standing motionless in the furthest corner of the sandflats; it immediately looked arrestingly interesting and, unaccountably (...although in our defense we're pretty sure we've never seen a settled Greenshank there on an evening visit), we decided without a thought or critical appraisal it'd be a yellowlegs species that'd just dropped in totally knackered after a non-stop flight from Canada. The rapidly failing light dictated a run back to the car for a camera and then a run along the edge of the beach to get a closer view. Was it worth all this and a good soaking for a perfectly typical Greenshank - no, probably not! © Martin Cade: