4th May

The surprises have been coming at a steady rate just lately and today's out-of-the-blue arrival was a Red-footed Falcon that lingered at the Bill for several hours early in the morning before heading away high to the south. Migrant-wise, the main feature of the day was the first strong arrival of Swifts, with at least 300 through at the Bill. It was much quieter than yesterday on the ground with only Wheatear and Willow Warbler returning double figure totals at the Bill, where 8 Redstarts, 6 Whinchats, a Black Redstart and a Pied Flycatcher were the pick of the fair selection of lower totals of other migrants. The sea remained very quiet, with 92 Manx Shearwaters and a lone Great Northern Diver easily the best on offer at the Bill.

Mammal-wise, a Hedgehog wandering about on the mudflats at Ferrybridge was a bizarre record.

The Red-footed Falcon showed very well at times © Kevin May (still) and Martin Cade (video):

At first glance it was quite easy to be fooled into believing it was an adult male but closer inspection - and more especially flight views - quickly revealed it to be in first-summer plumage. From personal experience and a check of the literature it seems that this plumage is quite variable but this bird had perhaps moulted a little bit more than average with, for example, a good portion of the underwing coverts and all the greater upperwing coverts not longer juvenile  © Pete Saunders (underside) and Martin Cade (upperside):

The bird didn't stay in one place long enough to attract more than modest-sized groups of watchers  © Joe Stockwell (top) and Martin King (bottom)