July 2000

  July 31st The month finished, as it had begun, with a rare Hippolais warbler; this time a very elusive  Icterine Warbler that spent the late morning and early afternoon in the Hut Fields and adjacent edge of the Obs garden. It was accompanied by small numbers of common migrants, including 25 Willow Warblers, a few Sedge and Garden Warblers, and a Lesser Whitethroat. July 30th A sprinkle of migrants around the Bill in the morning included 70 Willow Warblers, 5 Grey Herons, 3 Tree Pipits, 8 Sedge Warblers and a single Pied Flycatcher. The sea was very quiet, and provided just 20 Common Scoter and a Whimbrel. July 29th A busier day, with decent numbers of typical migrants for the early autumn. Willow Warblers numbered more than 50 at the Bill, where there were also several Sedge Warblers and Blackcaps, and and a few Sand Martins passing through; the Green Woodpecker showed up again in the morning. Offshore, a total of 8 Balearic Shearwaters and a Black Tern were seen. July 28th Despite a less than promising start to the day, with very few migrants about, a Melodious Warbler was trapped in the Obs garden during the morning. Commoner migrants around the Bill area otherwise included just a handful of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, and single Reed and Sedge Warblers. Off the Bill, 5 Balearic Shearwaters and a Great Skua passed during the morning. July 27th A much quieter day, with a meagre sprinkle of migrants. A Grasshopper Warbler at the Obs. was the best new bird, and there were otherwise just a handful of Willow Warblers and Garden Warblers. The Green Woodpecker was again around the Bill in the morning.   July 26th A similar day to yesterday, but without most of the better migrants. At the Bill, 30 Willow Warblers and 4 Garden Warbler were accompanied by just single Reed and Sedge Warblers; the Green Woodpecker was present for a second day. Waders were again numerous at Ferrybridge, where a lone Curlew Sandpiper was present in the evening with 200 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover and 4 Sanderling. July 25th A promising still and overcast dawn brought with it the first reasonable flurry of autumn migrants. At the Bill, there were 40 Willow Warblers, 6 Garden Warblers, 2 Cuckoos, and single Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher; a Black Redstart was again present, and a Green Woodpecker was an unusual visitor. Offshore, single Balearic Shearwater, Grey Plover and Arctic Skua were seen. Elsewhere on the Island, a fly-through Serin was seen at Barleycrates Lane. July 24th A similar day to yesterday. At least 8 Willow and a Sedge Warbler were at the Bill, where there was also a lone Black Redstart. Sea movement was limited to just 6 Manx Shearwaters and 6 Common Scoter. At Ferrybridge, waders included 3 Little Ringed Plover and a Curlew Sandpiper, as well as a brief reappearance of last weeks Kentish Plover. July 23rd At the Bill 3 Willow and a Sedge Warbler were the only land migrants found, and 35 Common Scoter, 4 Balearic Shearwaters and 3 Whimbrel were the highlights on the sea. Ferrybridge continues to get busier: todays wader totals included 325 Dunlin, 57 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, and single Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Knot. July 22nd A stiff easterly wind dominated the day and most of the worthwhile birds were seen off the Bill. Common Scoter and Black-headed Gulls were moving in small numbers, and there were also 2 late Puffins, and single Balearic Shearwater, Curlew, Mediterranean Gull and Arctic Skua. At Ferrybridge, waders present included 153 Dunlin and a Little Stint. July 21st Another day of settled weather and few birds. At the Bill, migrants on the land included more Sand Martins, a Lapwing and a Willow Warbler. Offshore, there were a few Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter, and single Balearic Shearwater, Mediterranean Gull and Arctic Skua. A Little Ringed Plover was at Ferrybridge. July 20th With the very fine weather continuing birds remained at a premium. Around the Bill there were just a few Sand Martins, 3 Grey Herons, a Greenshank, and single Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Seawatching was also slow with 4 Balearic Shearwaters the only birds of note. Dunlin numbers continue to increase at Ferrybridge: 68 were counted today. July 19th More very fine weather but, not surprisingly, very few birds. At the Obs Sand Martins trickled through all morning, a couple of Ringed Plovers flew over and the first 2 Garden Warblers of the autumn were seen. A single Common Sandpiper was seen on East Cliffs. July 18th A balmy summers day with a few birds on both land and sea. At the Obs Sand Martins passed over in some numbers and there were single Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and Bullfinch; a couple of new Willow Warblers were seen at other Island sites. Off the Bill more than 40 Common Scoter, and single Balearic Shearwater and Pomarine Skua were seen. July 17th Back to earth with a bump today. A few returning migrants trickled through during the morning with Sand Martins, which numbered more than 50, the most prominent; also present on the land were single Grey Heron, Lapwing, Whimbrel, Yellow Wagtail and Willow Warbler. Off the Bill there were nearly 150 Common Scoter and 4 Balearic Shearwaters. July 16th An unexpectedly excellent day in what ought to be a quiet time of year. Bird of the day was a fine male Black-headed Bunting that spent nearly an hour in the morning around the Obs/Huts, and then Culverwell, before leaving to the north; a female Serin appeared briefly at the Obs at the same time. Also on the land, Sand Martins were moving in some numbers, single Reed and Grasshopper Warblers were seen at the Bill, and, most unusually for the time of year, a Coal Tit showed briefly at St Georges Church. Off the Bill, there was a small movement of Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter, 3 Pomarine and a Great Skua, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, a Great Crested Grebe, and a report of a Black Guillemot. Finally, a female Kentish Plover found at Ferrybridge showed well during the afternoon. July 15th The wind eased markedly today but remained in the north, so it was a surprise that as many as 12 Balearic Shearwaters passed the Bill in the morning; also reported from the Bill were a few Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter, and 4 Little Egrets. July 14th Not surprisingly, considering there was no respite from the cool, blustery weather that has been with us all week, little birding was done today. A few Manx Shearwaters and a couple of passing flocks of Common Scoter off the Bill were the only birds of note reported. July 13th Less all round today with just 50 Manx Shearwaters, 45 Common Scoter and a single Balearic Shearwater off the Bill, and a Blackcap in the Obs garden. July 12th The sea continued to provide most of the interest, with 200 Manx and a Balearic Shearwater, as well as 75 Common Scoter and a Storm Petrel off the Bill. Two Lapwing and a Whimbrel were at the Bill; and continuing the wader theme there were 40 Dunlin and 5 Sanderling at Ferrybridge. July 11th Plenty of Manx Shearwaters remained offshore at the Bill all day, but little else was seen on either the sea or the land. July 10th More very windy weather today saw another decent passage of Manx Shearwaters off the Bill, particularly in the evening when several hundred passed. Variety was otherwise pretty limited with just a single Balearic Shearwater and a Great Skua seen. At Ferrybridge Dunlin have built up to 59, and the first young Little Terns are now on the wing. July 9th With unseasonably windy weather prevailing, birding activity was confined to seawatching at the Bill where there was a steady trickle of Manx and 3 Balearic Shearwaters, as well as 3 Arctic Skuas and a Storm Petrel. July 8th At the Bill a Snipe and a new Chiffchaff were the only noteworthy land migrants. Offshore a lone Balearic Shearwater passed, along with a trickle of Manx Shearwaters. July 7th After several very still days the wind increased conspicuously and Swifts were in good supply passing north all day. Returning waders included 3 Lapwings over Weston, and both Green Sandpiper and Curlew at the Bill. July 6th Another extremely quiet day with no noteworthy migrants at the Bill, and otherwise just a slight increase in Dunlin numbers at Ferrybridge. July 5th Once again little was seen on the land or sea at the Bill. At Ferrybridge return passage of common waders is starting: today saw 8 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit recorded.  July 4th Persistent light rain meant there was little birding activity on the land, and the only new migrant discovered was a Reed Warbler at the Obs. Off the Bill, Common Scoter and Black-headed Gulls were passing in small numbers during the morning. July 3rd Back to form for the time of year today with the only worthwhile birds reported at the Bill being single Curlew, Whimbrel and Grey Wagtail. A Ring-necked Parakeet was an unusual but brief visitor to the middle of the Island in the morning. July 2nd Unfortunately the Sykes's Warbler had moved on overnight, but there was a surprisingly good selection of common migrants at the Bill, including single Whimbrel, Curlew, Yellow and Grey Wagtail, Redstart, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroat. Off the Bill there were a few Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter, as well as reports of both Great and Pomarine Skuas.


Sykes's Warbler © Martin Cade


July 1st
There were a few new migrants about at the Bill in the morning, including a couple of Curlews, a Hobby and a Bullfinch, but otherwise no hint of the excitement to come when, soon after midday, a Booted Warbler (seemingly of the race rama - Sykes's Warbler - the second record for Britain) was trapped at the Obs. The bird remained for the rest of the day, eventually settling and showing well in the edge of the Obs garden.