26th August

With Storm Francis slipping away into the North Sea but still the major influence on conditions, today's bright and blustery westerlies didn't promise much on sea or land and it was a moment of unexpected migrant magic that saved the day: out of nowhere a Dotterel made the briefest of fly-bys straight over the Obs patio - not a big deal historically as this would once have been just the time when Dotterel were an almost expected annual visitor to the Bill during the first three decades of Obs fieldwork but their rarity value has increased exponentially over the last thirty years. Migration happenings on the land were otherwise only a notch above the lowest order: Lesser Black-backed Gulls trailing away to balmier winter quarters at least proved some numbers - 250 left from the Bill during the first few hours of the morning - but 2 Pied Flycatchers were as good as it got amongst the thinnest of spreads of grounded migrants there. Scant rewards from the sea included singles of Great Crested Grebe, Storm Petrel and Arctic Tern through off the Bill. Ferrybridge was still impressively busy: both Ringed Plover and Dunlin reached totals well in excess of 200, whilst 3 Little Terns (one evidently a colour-ringed juvenile from Ireland) and a Little Gull were bonuses.

This morning's Little Gull at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:

Wheatear and Small Copper at the Bill © Roy Norris: