August 2013

31st August

Yesterday's flurry of Balearic Shearwaters proved to be the forerunners of a remarkable movement during the morning when 384 passed west off the Bill. Since the conditions would ordinarily have been considered hopeless for seawatching - a light northerly and crystal-clear visibility - and there was absolutely nothing else on the move, we assume we were tapping into birds lingering in this part of the Channel that were making an en masse movement between feeding sites; this count equals the third highest day-total ever at the Bill - the previous highest counts were both in August 1978 when there were 627 on 9th and 450 on 5th. The day's other events rather paled into insignificance: the generally limited scatter of migrants at the Bill included only Wheatears in any numbers - 150 or so, with 10 White Wagtails and the long-staying Nightingale among the more interesting back-ups; elsewere singles of Little Gull and Little Stint were of note at Ferrybridge.

30th August

On the first day of the week without any eastern interest on the land it was a slight surprise that the sea provided the best of the birding: in seemingly uninspiring conditions a total of 85 Balearic Shearwaters, along with a lone Long-tailed Skua, passed through off the Bill. The land had its moments: the thinnish spread of migrants at the Bill included 20 Whinchats, 6 White Wagtails, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Cuckoo and a Grasshopper Warbler, whilst singles of Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint were at Ferrybridge.




 Nightingale and LIttle Stints - Portland Bill and Ferrybridge, 29th August 2013 © Nick Hopper (Nightingale) and Martin Cade (Little Stint)

Regular visitors to the site will have noticed that this year we've been remiss in letting the moth news slip onto the Twitter feed; we're not sure whether that situation will continue and, besides, we can always use the main website to feature moth news if we need to. This week has been rather remarkable for moths, with two major rarities - both new for Dorset as well as Portland - trapped on consecutive nights at the Obs; hitherto, we'd only featured ropey photographs of each in glass tubes so here are some slightly better images of the Shining Marbled and the Tamarisk Peacock:



...among the wide variety of other oddities recorded this Pine Leaf-mining Moth caught in John Lucas' trap at Reap Lane was of particular note as it too was a first for Portland:


  29th August

Today saw the beginnings of what looks to be a longer term shift towards Atlantic influenced weather and although there were still a good few migrants about it did seem as though interest was dwindling somewhat. The Obs Quarry Nightingale remained in residence, whilst a brief Wryneck not far from the Obs may or may not have been one of the individuals of recent days. The day's species list was again very varied and included worthwhile totals from the southern half of the island of 150 Yellow Wagtails, 40 Wheatears, 40 Willow Warblers, 15 Whinchats, 12 Pied Flycatchers, 7 Redstarts and 6 Spotted Flycatchers, whilst a late-ish Cuckoo at Avalache Road was also of note; elsewhere singles of Knot and Little Stint were at Ferrybridge.

A party of at least 25 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were off the Bill during the morning.





 Black Tern - Ferrybridge, 28th August 2013 © Martin Cade

...slight overkill since images of Black Tern on the website are almost as rare as those of yesterday's Teal. Today came up with a plethora of other photos, among the more interesting of which are one from Pete Saunders of the Southwell Icterine Warbler:


...and a couple from Nick Hopper A Hard Day at the Office of a helice Clouded Yellow and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth:



And as usual the day's ringing activities came up with a bit of interest including the Wryneck and a White Wagtail (both © Martin Cade):



Also we're still catching up with photos from the bank holiday weekend amongst which was by far the nicest image of the Obs Quarry Wryneck from a couple of days ago (© Tony Hovell The Travelling Naturalist):


...and finally a longer video of the Eight Kings Quarry Icterine Warbler:


  28th August

Eastern interest was to the fore again today, with a Wryneck trapped and ringed in the Crown Estate Field, an Ortolan Bunting dropping in there briefly and an Icterine Warbler showing up in a private garden at Southwell. There were also some decent accumulations of commoner migrants, particularly at the Bill where there more than 200 Yellow Wagtails, 150 Wheatears, 10 Whinchats, 10 Spotted Flycatchers and 10 Pied Flycatchers; 2 Greenshanks, 2 White Wagtails, a Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and a Nightingale were among the more infrequent migrants making the day list there. Plenty more of the same elsewhere included singles of Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Black Tern at Ferrybridge.



 Teal - Ferrybridge, 27th August 2013 © Pete Saunders's always an unusual sight to see a settled Teal at Portland - this is the first time we've been able to feature a photo of one on the website.

  27th August

More of the same today with a new Wryneck showing up at Verne Common and yesterday's or another Ortolan Bunting staging a brief fly-by over Top Fields; also of particular interest were the first records for the autumn of Nightingale at the Obs Quarry and Ring Ouzel at Barelycrates Lane. In the routine migrant line it was a day of variety rather than numbers: at the Bill there were 100 Yellow Wagtails and 22 Tree Pipits but few of the other usual late August suspects even managed a double figure total, with 3 Redstarts, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Greenshank and a Turtle Dove among the more noteworthy of the less regulars; 4 Balearic Shearwaters also passed through on the sea there. Other areas had fair coverage and returned a similar array of grounded and overflying migrants, along with 3 Curlew Sandpipers and 3 Black Terns at Ferrybridge.

26th August

As had seemed highly likely, yesterday's Icterine Warbler proved to be just the vanguard of a flurry of eastern oddities, with today bringing the more or less simultaneous arrival around midday of a Wryneck at the Obs Quarry and an Ortolan Bunting at Sheat Quarry; earlier an Osprey flew south over the Bill, whilst later 3 Little Stints and a Curlew Sandpiper dropped in at Ferrybridge. Commoner migrants were not as well represented as might have been hoped: although nearly everything that might be expected make the day sheet, at the Bill it was only really the totals of 100 Yellow Wagtails and 33 Tree Pipits that were worthy of a mention; the first 2 White Wagtails of the autumn also showed up there, whilst other oddities included 6 Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks and a Yellow-legged Gull.



   Icterine Warbler - Southwell, 25th August 2013 © Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings

...and a little video clip of it:


  25th August

With points eastward relatively awash with quality it was only a matter of time before the trickle down reached Portland, and an Icterine Warbler discovered at the Eight Kings Quarry will hopefully prove to be the first of the many. The day's back-up cast was much as would be expected in the circumstances, with the likes of Yellow Wagtails, Wheatears and Willow Warblers well distributed, along with a spread of less common migrants that included 11 Tree Pipits, 8 Pied Flycatchers, 5 Whinchats, 3 Redstarts, a Greenshank and a Wood Sandpiper at the Bill. Seawatching there came up with 22 Balearic Shearwaters and a Great Skua.



Whimbrel - Ferrybridge, 24th August 2013 © Pete Saunders

...also thanks to Ken Dolbear and Dave Higginson-Tranter for details of two interesting ladybirds found in recent days - Platynaspis luteorubra:


...and Scymnus frontalis:


Both these species are known from Portland although both are very small (2.5-3.5mm) and so are unlikely to attract attention unless specifically looked for (in both cases they were found serendipitously whilst sweeping low vegetation for small bugs).

  24th August

Yesterday's waft of easterly proved to be very short-lived but its legacy was a distinct upturn in common migrant numbers, with a good proportion of the new arrivals showing up surprisingly late in the day. The Bill area received most of the coverage and returned totals that included 150 Wheatears, 100 Yellow Wagtails, 25 Whitethroats, 20 Tree Pipits and 15 Sedge Warblers, along with lower counts of a fair variety of other expected species. Seawatching there came up with a surprisingly good total of 107 Balearic Shearwaters, although in the offshore wind the only other worthwhile sighting was of an early Great Northern Diver.





  Little Tern, Knot and Kittiwakes - Ferrybridge, 23rd August 2013 © Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings (Little Tern) and Pete Saunders (Knot and Kittiwakes)

  23rd August

A day filled with entirely unrealised promise when a much talked-up easterly wind failed to deliver either a rarity or any quantity of grounded migrants. Were it not for hirundines, which again passed through and at times lingered in the many hundreds, common migrants would have been severely under-represented, with the 50 or so Yellow Wagtails at the Bill being easily the most numerous of the routine late August species; 2 Pied Flycatchers and the first 2 Siskins of the autumn were among the few noteworthy sightings there. Ferrybridge continued to be worth attention, with 2 Kittiwakes and a single Knot being additions to the tally reported from there in recent days.

22nd August

Despite the summer-like weather - it was really warm at times in the afternoon - the birding had a much more autumnal feel than has been apparent on most days in recent weeks, with hirundines in particular gathering in good numbers everywhere. Nocturnal migrants were certainly not a conspicuous feature at dawn, when it quickly obvious that the likes of Wheatear were as sparsely spread as they have been all autumn, and neither Sedge Warbler nor Willow Warbler were at all numerous; however, Yellow Wagtails soon featured well, with at least 50 at the Bill, and hirundines got into the low thousands throughout the island as a whole. Among the less frequent migrants there were singles of Yellow-legged Gull, Turtle Dove and Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill and 2 Pied Flycatchers at Wakeham, whilst the sea came up with another 5 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.

21st August

Given the continuing clear conditions it was only to be expected that numbers were never likely to be a feature of the day, and so it came to pass. With the routine fare hardly managing double figure totals it was left to the likes of 13 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Greenshank, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Reed Warblers, a Lapwing, a Whinchat and a Grasshopper Warbler to provide what limited interest there was on the land at the Bill; also there, 6 Balearic Shearwaters passed by on the sea.



 Ringed Plovers - Ferrybridge, August 2013 © Martin Cade

  20th August

Still very pleasurable conditions for scouting around looking for migrants although far from ideal for actually dropping anything in quantity. That said, the early rounds of the south of the island did come up with a reasonable little scatter of new arrivals that included 20-40 totals of Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler, with 6 Snipe, 4 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts, 2 Reed Warblers, a Marsh Harrier, a Whinchat and a Grasshopper Warbler amongst the list-fillers.The most noteworthy report from elsewhere concerned a high count of 17 Redshanks at Ferrybridge.






  Redshank, Sedge Warbler and Clouded Yellow, and yesterday's Roseate Tern - Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 19th and 18th August 2013 © Pete Saunders (Redshank), Martin Cade (Sedge Warbler), Will Bown (Clouded Yellow) and Julia Eckley/Alan Hooper (Roseate Tern)

  19th August

With the weather settling down again there were no doubt plenty of migrant on the move but the clear skies and near-full moon certainly conspired to ensure that relatively few dropped in on Portland. The usual mid-August suspects were all represented in small numbers but the likes of 11 fly-over Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 Ringed Plovers and singles of Grey Heron, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher provided the only real interest at the Bill; elsewhere there was a Pied Flycatcher at Southwell, 2 Ruff flew over Portland Harbour and 2 Common Sandpipers were at Portland Marina. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 4 Balearic Shearwaters and a single Great Skua.

18th August

Yesterday's storm blew through as quickly as it had arrived and in increasingly pleasant conditions it was routine passerine migrants that made up the bulk of the day's sightings. At the Bill Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler made 20-25 apiece, with 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Reed Warblers and singles of Whimbrel, Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Pied Flycatcher providing further interest; a Whinchat at Barelycrates Lane was the only addition to the tally from elsewhere. The sea was still worth a glance, with 11 Balearic Shearwaters the best of the bunch at the Bill, whilst a Roseate Tern was a notable autumn visitor at Ferrybridge.



  Common Terns - Ferrybridge, 17th August 2013 © Debby Saunders

...and thanks to Charlie Richards for alerting us to a pair of Barn Owl that have bred in the Verne Moat; the young have just recently fledged and so are quite active although, as can be seen on these few clips, most of the 'action' takes place so long after sunset that it's very difficult to film/photograph:


  17th August

A day of huge contrasts with the morning's mist-netting at the Bill taking place in the most benign of conditions before the rapid onset of the first proper Atlantic storm of the autumn saw a good part of the afternoon spent seawatching from what little shelter there was beside the Trinity House obelisk. The migrant tally on the land remained non too impressive, but did include 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, a Whinchat and a Pied Flycatcher amongst a small fall of Sedge Warblers and Willow Warblers at the Bill. Seawatching there was a good deal more productive, even if variety was rather limited: alongside a steady passage of Gannets and Fulmars there were around 100 each of Manx and Balearic Shearwaters (although, since the passage was westward in the morning and eastward during the afternoon, the Balearic total in particular was thought most likely to refer to closer to just 60 individuals), 4 Great Skuas, 3 Arctic Skuas, 3 Common Terns, a Sooty Shearwater and an Arctic Tern.

16th August

The less said about today the better, with little evidence of anything but the most minor arrival of new migrants on the land, precious little on the move at sea and hardly any turn over of waders at Ferrybridge. A Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell was the only migrant of any particular note on the land, whilst a lone Balearic Shearwater through off the Bill was the best of the seabirds.



 Bar-tailed Godwit - Ferrybridge, August 2013 © Pete Saunders

  15th August

We seem to be slipping into a period of inaction with little evidence of birds on the move in any great quantity: at the Bill singles of Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit and Reed Warbler were the only slightly less regular migrants amongst the light scatter of Wheatears, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats and Willow Warblers on the land, whilst on the sea a freshening south-westerly produced 4 Balearic Shearwaters but little else beyond the commonest fare; Ferrybridge, where a Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit were the best of the waders, was hardly any better.



 Common Buzzard - Southwell, August 2013 © Pete Saunders

...a juvenile to compare with Pete's photo of an adult we featured a few days ago; at least one pair of buzzards have been successful again this year and the incessant begging calls of the juveniles - given in flight and on the ground - are already becoming a familiar sound at the Bill, click here to have a listen to one giving its parent some grief in the Crown Estate Field this morning.

  14th August

Conditions went downhill rather rapidly today, with the early promise of some new arrivals under bright skies at dawn soon evaporating as the breeze freshened and rain had set in by midday. At the Bill the expected trio of Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler all made the several dozens and there was the first double figure total of Tree Pipits (13) of the autumn; among the varied back up cast a Wood Sandpiper was of particular note. The downturn in the weather did get just a few things moving out to sea, where 65 Common Scoter, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Gadwall and a Great Skua provided the main interest.




Willow Warbler and Wall Lizard - Portland Bill and Southwell, 13th August 2013 © Joe Stockwell Yet another birding blog (Willow Warbler) and David Rashley (Wall Lizard)

  13th August

A pleasantly still and clear dawn gave way to an increasingly warm day when although it wasn't exactly leaping with migrants there was a decent enough selection to keep the fieldworkers entained. Sedge Warbler numbers looked to rather depleted, with just 15 at the Bill, but their absence was more than made up for with an arrival there of a good 150 Willow Warblers, together with 20 Wheatears, 6 Tree Pipits, 5 Yellow Wagtails and 1-2 each of Grey Heron, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull and Pied Flycatcher, whilst elsewhere singles of Whinchat at Barleycrates Lane, Pied Flycatcher at Blacknor and Spotted Flycatcher at Verne Common were all of note. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 9 passing Balearic Shearwaters, whilst 5 Sanderling, 2 Redshank, a Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit, together with a good total of 190 Ringed Plovers were the best of the bunch at Ferrybridge.

12th August

The slightly promising-looking cloud cover of dawn failed to deliver much in the way of a fall at the Bill, where there were 40 each of Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler and 25 Wheatears, but little else beyond 2 Tree Pipits and singles of Green Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Redstart and Pied Flycatcher

11th August

Yesterday's volume of passage wasn't sustained, with Sedge Warbler the only one of the commoner migrants reaching any sort of decent total at the Bill, where most of the 40 or so present were in the Crown Estate Field shortly after dawn; 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and singles of Redshank, Redstart and Pied Flycatcher were the only slightly out of the ordinary migrants there. The day's only other worthwhile reports were of 10 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill and 3 Knot still amongst the waders at Ferrybridge.

10th August

A better day for migrants today, with a small fall around the southern half of the island that included 200 Willow Warblers, 50 Sedge Warblers, 40 Whitethroats, 25 Wheatears, 4 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and singles of Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Reed Warbler, Tree Pipit and Garden Warbler; Ferrybridge was also busy, coming up with 175 Dunlin, 130 Ringed Plover, 10 Sanderling, 3 Shelducks, 3 Knot and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls. After being the poor relation for a few days there was a hint of interest picking up on the sea, with 6 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Common Gull through off the Bill during the evening.



Common Buzzard - Southwell, 9th August 2013 © Pete Saunders

  9th August

Something of nothing today, with migrant numbers dwindling after a wet night when the fresh breeze swung toward the north-west. Plenty of fieldwork at the Bill once the sunshine and warmth set in again couldn't come up with anything better than a steady overhead passage of mainly Swallows, a very light scatter of Wheatears, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats and Willow Warblers on the ground, and 2 Green Sandpipers, a Dunlin, a Redshank and a Reed Warbler by way of very minor interest. Ferrybridge was also rather samey, with 12 Sanderling and 2 Knot again the only waders of note.


News from the Obs


Members who were unable to attend our AGM back in July may not be aware of some significant announcements made at the meeting. 

First, we are very pleased to report that we have recently been able to purchase the Crown Estate Field at the Bill. We have rented this 16 acre field for a number of years and, with careful management, it has become an increasingly important feeding area for resident birds and staging site for migrants. The permanent acquisition of the field was in part made possible by a most generous bequest by the late David Poole; David was a Bristol birder who loved his visits to Portland and we're sure that everyone with a concern for the natural environment of the island will join us in recognising David's contribution toward securing this substantial addition to our holding of land managed for nature conservation purposes.


The Crown Estate Field, outlined in yellow (aerial photograph © Rob Sawyer)

Second, we've appointed Joe Stockwell as Assistant Warden at the Obs. Many visitors will have already met Joe as his increasingly frequent visits to Portland in recent years culminated in his spending the whole of this spring with us prior to his appointment. Joe's already proving to be a real asset for the Obs and we hope that this appointment proves to be the beginning of a rewarding career in birding for him.

   Finally, members will be aware that we've fallen well behind our desired schedule for producing the 2012 annual report. Please accept our apologies and in the meanwhile continue to enjoy our online content - the updating of which always seems to be getting in the way of us finishing the printed report! 





Knots and Yellow-legged Gulls - Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 8th August 2013 © Pete Saunders (Knots) and Keith Pritchard Birding Portland UK (Yellow-legged Gulls)

  8th August

Although there were certainly new arrivals to be seen there was some evidence from the day's ringing activities that the day's totals received quite a boost from migrants lingering on the last couple of days. At the Bill Sedge Warblers again exceeded 50 and both Whitethroat and Willow Warbler got past 25, whilst among the less frequent species 5 Ringed Plovers, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 each of Grey Heron, Curlew and Garden Warbler and singles of Mallard, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Whinchat and Grasshopper Warbler were of note. The wader selection at Ferrybridge included 8 Sanderling, 2 Knot and a Redshank.

7th August

The quite overcast skies of dawn gave hope for another drop of migrants, and although numbers were a little down on yesterday variety certainly increased. Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler both returned 50-100 totals at the Bill, where overflying hirundines - particularly Swallows - were more more conspicuous than hitherto; also there, Whinchat and Reed Warbler both made the list for the first time this autumn, whilst oddities included 16 Oystercatchers, 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers and singles of Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Snipe. Another Green Sandpiper also passed over at Suckthumb Quarry, whilst 2 Knot, a Common Gull and a Whinchat provided the best of the interest at Ferrybridge. 



Wheatear - Portland Bill, 6th August 2013 © Will Bown

  6th August

Not before time, today's combination of clear skies, a light tail wind and a sharp drop in overnight temperature saw migrants get moving in quantity, with the new moon seeing to it that plenty dropped in around the south of the island. Sedge Warblers were by far the most conspicuous of the new arrivals, with in the order of 150 grounded at the Bill; Willow Warblers were also relatively numerous and included 50 between Southwell and Weston, whilst back-up fare included the likes of the autumn's first Garden Warblers and Pied Flycatchers (2 of each), 2 Snipe, a Grey Heron, a Green Sandpiper and a Grasshopper Warbler; notably lacking were any quantity of Wheatears with, for example, just 6 logged at the Bill. Waders at Ferrybridge included 213 Dunlin, 13 Sanderling, 2 Redshank, a Knot and a Whimbrel, whilst it was not surprise given the conditions that the sea came up with little more than 3 Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill.






   Little Stints, Whimbrels and Comma - Ferrybridge and Southwell, 5th August 2013 © Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings (Little Stints), Pete Saunders (Whimbrels) and David Rashley (Comma)

  5th August

With us reaching the new moon period it might be hoped there was the potential for a reversal in the current parlous situation for passerine passage but a constantly wet night did no favours and 2 Wheatears were the only new arrivals discovered at the Bill. The seawatchers fared a little better there and came up with c250 Manx Sheaarwaters, 46 Common Scoter, 26 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua. Once again waders added a good deal of interest to proceedings, with a midday deluge seemingly dropping several new arrivals: Ferrybridge came up with 220 Dunlin, 34 Ringed Plover, 18 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel and 2 Little Stints, whilst 4 Sanderling, a Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper passed through or settled at the Bill.





   Balearic Shearwater and Yellow-legged Gull - Portland Bill and Ferrybridge, 4th August 2013 © Steve Gantlett Birding World (Balearic Shearwater) and Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings (Yellow-legged Gull)

  4th August

Another day of seemingly not too bad conditions that came up with next to nothing by way of passerine interest, with singles of Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler constituting a tally at the Bill that was more representative of mid-July than early August. The sea was also thought likely to hold promise, but in the event returned little more than 23 Common Scoter, 12 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas amongst a light trickle of Manx Shearwaters. There was small compensation for the lack of action elsewhere in the form of reasonable numbers of waders, with 200 Dunlin, 53 Ringed Plovers and 12 Sanderling at Ferrybridge and a Whimbrel at the Bill; a Yellow-legged Gull was also at Ferrybridge.






   Black-tailed Godwit, Great Skua and Gannet - Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 3rd August 2013 © Pete Saunders (Black-tailed Godwit) and Steve Gantlett Birding World (Great Skua and Gannet)

  3rd August Migration on the land just isn't getting going at the moment, with today's quite decent conditions coming up with a really paltry tally of just 2 Willow Warblers and 1 Sedge Warbler at the Bill. As in recent days waders were well represented, with 200 Dunlin, 9 Sanderling, 2 Redshanks, a Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge and 2 Sanderling and singles of Ringed Plover and Whimbrel at the Bill, whilst seawatching at the Bill produced 4 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Great Skuas. 2nd August Very little of note when it came to birds today, apart from a small flurry on the sea early on things just didn't seems to get going, it as though been very warm and sunny, just how we like it! 55 Common Scoter, 15 Manx Shearwater, 12 Balearic Shearwater and on the land 10 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, Black-tailed Godwit and singles south of Whimbrel, Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. Ferrybridge waders hovered around the same, although a slight decrease in Dunlin; 150 Dunlin, 39 Ringed Plover, 14 Sanderling, 13 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstone, 3 Curlew and 2 Black-tailed Godwit. 1st August We finally woke to a clear sky today; a little bit of early cloud rolled in but quickly departed and the thermometer reached 22C at one stage during the afternoon. Although early reports from the stalwarts were rather unexciting the first check of the Crown Estate Field nets revealed that a few migrants had dropped in overnight. With this relayed back a bit of fieldwork soon produced some numbers: the Bill area received all the coverage and notched up totals of 30 Sedge Warbler, 5 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler and a few new Whitethroats. The only birds through on the sea were 2 Med Gulls, a Yellow-legged Gull and an Arctic Skua.