10th August

A decent arrival of migrants has been a long time coming this autumn but the wind finally falling light under a clear but moonless sky presented promising-looking conditions today. Dawn saw the Crown Estate Field in particular hopping with Sedge Warblers and it wasn't long before the warmth of some strong sunshine saw Willow Warblers emerging in quantity; variety still wasn't a feature on the ground but overhead a steady passage of hirundines developed to further bolster the numbers. Eventual day totals for the Bill included 150 Sand Martins, 100 each of Swallow and Sedge Warbler, and 50 Willow Warblers, with nuggets in interest including 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 each of Tree Pipit and Reed Warbler, a single Garden Warbler and an island oddity in the form of a Green Woodpecker. Ferrybridge was also busier, with Ringed Plover and Dunlin conspicuously more numerous at 182 and 70 respectively, and 9 Sanderling, 2 Redshanks and a Black-tailed Godwit of further note. The increase in waders was also noted offshore, with 9 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers and 2 Whimbrel through off the Bill; passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls was also gathering momentum and singles of Balearic Shearwater and Yellow-legged Gull passed by. 

It's so rare for us to get to handle an adult male Yellow Wagtail - and with ridiculous thoughts of American vagrancy still at the back of our mind - that the distant sight of the dazzling underparts of this bird that turned up out of the blue in the bottom panel of a mist-net in the densest cover in the Crown Estate Field momentarily and amusingly set in motion thoughts of a repeat of the Yellow Warbler © Martin Cade:

It's been well documented that the Catocalas - the Red, Crimson and Blue Underwings - have not only increased but also started wandering about far more than they used to. We've already recorded a Light Crimson Underwing - the scarcer of the two crimson underwings - this year and last night the island's seventh Dark Crimson Underwing put in an appearance in the Obs moth-traps © Martin Cade: