12th July

Another not especially summery day, with a brisk westerly blowing throughout. The Yellow-legged Gull influx - one of the best ever this early in the season - continued, with comings and goings off the Bill all day and a minimum of 18 at one time there during the evening; at least 41 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 20 Mediterranean Gulls were also present there, whilst 118 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater and singles of Dunlin and Whimbrel passed through on the sea. Fifty Sand Martins, 6 Swallows and a House Martin headed south overhead but it was less rewarding on the ground where little more was uncovered than the lingering Blackcap at the Bill.

So great is the attraction of good feeding off East Cliffs that very few of the gulls at the Bill are actually settling ashore; however, just for a while this afternoon a small flock gathered below Culverwell allowing for a nice look at the variation in the Yellow-legged Gulls © Martin Cade:

In the absence of much else to report from today we'll skip back to May having recently received word from Martin Collinson of his University of Aberdeen team's results from feather samples of our two subalpine warblers. The genetics provided a further level of confirmation for the Moltoni's Warbler on 12th May: the recordings and in-field/in-hand evidence had already established it was a Moltoni's and the lab work showed that it was indeed an entirely typical one:

Our second bird on 20th May was less well documented in as much as it this was an in-hand only event so the bird wasn't heard to call; however, the in-hand details all suggested it was a Western Subalpine and this was fully confirmed in the lab, with it fitting squarely amongst other samples of Western Subalpine (many thanks to Martin for providing the phylogenetic tree below) photos © Martin Cade: