24th September

Today might have marked the beginning of the downhill slide into winter but you'd have been forgiven for overlooking that unpleasant detail as dawn broke considerable milder - albeit also considerably windier - than the last few. The immediately recapture of yesterday's Red-eyed Vireo was not altogether unexpected, although less welcome for those tardy observers wishing to catch up with it was its subsequent disappearance into the ether. It was the strength of the southerly wind that was to prove the provider of a lot of day's other interest, with a steady seawatch developing that included 90 Balearic Shearwaters, 12 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Arctic Skuas and singles of Cory's Shearwater and Great Skua through off the Bill. A roaming Cattle Egret that was noticed over both Easton and Southwell was an unexpected oddity, whilst a Grey Phalarope that dropped in briefly at Ferrybridge was an on-cue first for the autumn. Neither grounded nor overflying migrants were much of a feature, with a Firecrest at Pennsylvania Castle and 2 Curlew Sandpipers at Ferrybridge easily the best of the day's more routine new arrivals.

Equinoctial gales might be a bit of a meteorological myth but windy spells at this time of year do usually produce the first wrecked Grey Phalaropes of the season; they're nearly always youngsters like today's bird at Ferrybridge that are presumably more susceptible to being affected but also on the move later than adults (...is that actually right? - it's just that a lot of the photos we see of them elsewhere in August/early September seem to involve adults):

In comparison with some other places Curlew Sandpipers seem to be a little under-represented amongst the Ferrybridge waders so far this month:

You can bet your bottom dollar it won't be a Cory's that's the closest shearwater of the day at the Bill photos © Paul Matson: