19th October

The turbulent but extremely mild conditions introduced by yesterday's weather front resulted in spells of rain before dawn and towards evening but, the strength of the wind aside, it wasn't too bad a day for getting amongst some more sea passage and a hatful of winter arrivals of Ferrybridge; sadly, the migrant situation remained firmly on the bleak side. Gulls again dominated at sea, with a sample 90 minute total of 700 Black-headed Gulls through off the Bill adequately reflecting their continuing unprecedented passage; plenty of other small gulls were sucked in, along with two Arctic Skuas and singles of Great Northern Diver, Balearic Shearwater and Great Skua. Ferrybridge was positively rammed, with the huge numbers of Dark-bellied Brents and Mediterranean Gulls joined by amongst others the Black Brant, at least three Pale-bellied Brents, four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Sandwich Terns and a Sanderling. The continuing Siskin  displacement included flocks of 65 at Verne Common and 21 at Pennsylvania Castle, whilst other odds and ends in the migrant line included singles of Merlin, Black Redstart and Firecrest at the Bill and a late Hobby at Verne Common.

There's no denying that the arrival of the wintering brents afford a real spectacle at Ferrybridge, all the more so when there are a thousand Mediterranean Gulls mingling amongst them; of course the presence in their midst of the odd Black Brant and Pale-bellied Brent doesn't do any harm either © Ralph Todd:

The Black-headed Gull passage continued apace © Andy Swash WILDGuides.co.uk