20th July

With a gusting northeasterly winds hammered at the lighthouse windows it was not a tough decision for the staff to stay in bed for an extra hour or so; thankfully, one local stalwart was more dedicated to the cause and was well rewarded with some good sea movement, a pulse of hirundines and Swifts overhead and a small arrival on the deck. In what's been a lean season for them it wasn't too difficult to at least equal the year peak to date of 2000 Manx Shearwaters heading east past the Bill, with further variety at sea that included 20 Dunlin (along with another c70 small waders that were too distant to clinch an ID on), 18 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Teal and singles of Balearic Shearwater and Arctic Skua. Swift, Sand Martin and Swallow each got into the few dozen overhead, with 2 passing Yellow Wagtails also of note; 15 Willow Warblers topped the numbers on the ground that also included 2 Yellow-legged Gulls. Wader totals at Ferrybridge dropped back to just 74 Dunlin and 5 Sanderling.

It's been a challenging year for the Little Tern colony on Chesil with no paid warden due to the pandemic, and major predation by a particularly persistent Hedgehog. However, a small, extremely dedicated band of local volunteers have put in many hours of wardening, including daily diversionary feeding of the Kestrels on the West Cliffs (which has significantly helped to reduce predation). Consequently scenes like this have continued to delight those lucky enough to see them (video taken under NE license) © John Dadds: