6th July

After the lamentable summer birding dented our enthusiasm for a narrative blog it's probably time to get going again - this might prove to be a false start but we'll see... A quiet, mainly overcast dawn that gave way to a blazingly bright afternoon and evening offered some hope on the migrant front but - this not being Nanjizal - new passerines were entirely absent from the day's tally. An incoming Honey Buzzard over the Bill was quite a surprise for early July and a customary selection of waders included 2 Whimbrel and a Curlew through at the Bill and 2 Dunlin and singles of Redshank and Greenshank at Ferrybridge but the day's numbers were either offshore, where a good passage of 115 Common Scoter featured at the Bill or involved post-breeding dispersal of Mediterranean Gulls that included 54 at Ferrybridge. Other odds and ends from the sea included singles of Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua and Sandwich Tern through off the Bill, whilst Ferrybridge further chipped in with 8 Sandwich Terns amongst others. On the passerine front, lingering singles of Grey Wagtail and Blackcap were at the Bill.

Two big downpours in recent weeks have largely saved our stewardship crops from the oblivion they suffered in last summer's drought; to the likely detriment of early season warblers the maize crop hasn't exactly thrived but the seed-rich strips are looking fantastic right now and ought to be super-attractive for the likes of finches and buntings later in the autumn © Martin Cade:

Long range and a brutal heat-haze nearly but not quite robbed us of photographically clinching the Honey Buzzard © Martin Cade:

After its usual early summer hiatus Ferrybridge is beginning to get busier now, with post-breeding gatherings of gulls and Sandwich Terns steadily building © Pete Saunders:

After a bumper spell last week the moth-traps have quietened down in recent nights but there's still been morsels of interest to keep us entertained. Last night's catch at the Obs included only the third island record of Cloaked Carpet...

...and the second Dewick's Plusia in the last week; the former is only sparsely spread across mainland Dorset, whilst despite seemingly colonising parts of the Home Counties the latter remains a less than annual scarcity for us © Martin Cade: