2nd September

A day of two halves with a morning of murky greyness overhead giving way to and afternoon of blazing sunshine and what by recent standards amounted to blistering warmth; what little waft of northeasterly that had been evident in the morning abated to millpond calmness by the evening. Balearic Shearwaters have been stealing the show of late and continued to do so today, with the 537 logged off the Bill - virtually all in the three hours after dawn - representing the second highest total ever there (the record is 627 on 9th August 1978); 2 passing Long-tailed Skuas were a nice bonus from the seawatch, with 9 Arctic Skuas the best of the rest. Grounded passerines were again sparsely spread, with 2 Grasshopper Warblers and 2 Pied Flycatchers as good as it got at the Bill; another Grasshopper Warbler was at Reap Lane. Waders included 140 Ringed Plovers, 35 Dunlin, 30 Turnstones, 2 Knot and 2 Sanderling at Ferrybridge. Gatherings of hirundines featured for a while during the morning but in the clear conditions of the afternoon a stronger overhead passage developed, with some hundreds of Swallows heading south on a broad front across the island. 

Redstarts are not alone in being far fewer in number than might be hoped at this juncture; this one at Sweethill was the only one reported today © Pete Saunders: