7th September

There was a time - getting on for 40 years ago now - when a whole bunch of Ortolan Buntings (along with the odd Aquatic Warbler and plenty more besides) would have been expected on an early September wafting easterly, but these days beggars can't be choosers and today's single discovered soon after dawn in the Crown Estate Field seemed like a bigger deal than the high number of island records would suggest it ought to be. With much heavier hazy cloud cover in the sky a small increase in grounded migrants was detected, although the 5 White Wagtails, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Whinchats, 2 Redstarts and 2 Reed Warblers amongst the slightly more numerous routine fare at the Bill were hardly a rich return; elsewhere, a Firecrest was of note at Reap Lane. It was busier overhead, with 2000 Swallows through in quick time at Ferrybridge and plenty more elsewhere; at the Bill the 100 Meadow Pipits, 85 Yellow Wagtails, 42 Siskins (a considerable underestimate of the true totals since many of the high-flying flocks couldn't even be seen), 21 Tree Pipits and 10 Chaffinches were among their companion travellers. Balearic Shearwaters so often buck expectations from the sea that the 254 through over a millpond-calm sea off the Bill shouldn't have been any surprise; 2 Arctic Skuas and a lone Manx Shearwater were pretty much all that could be mustered otherwise. The wader situation didn't change much, with 8 Sanderling and 7 Knot the pick of the Ferrybridge selection.

For a few minutes when it settled atop the Privet Hedge the Ortolan was a good performer but that proved to be the exception and it was extremely mobile over the couple of hours or so that it roamed widely around the Bill © Simon Craft...

...typically, it was nicely vocal - here it is flying over Nick Hopper's nocmig recorder that had been left deployed into the morning © Nick Hopper:

Just lately, Knot have been a little more frequent and numerous at Ferrybridge than's often the case at this time of year © Pete Saunders:

And a Sparrowhawk at Sweethill © Pete Saunders: