9th September

The extreme heat adjectives were getting another good airing today as the shade temperature at the Obs soared to 24C (...and it got beyond 30C in the Obs lounge) and provided considerable disincentive for any prolonged fieldwork. Overhead passage continued, with 300 Swallows, 175 Meadow Pipits, 95 Yellow Wagtails, 32 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 32 Siskins, 12 Grey Wagtails, 10 Tree Pipits, a Marsh Harrier and a Green Sandpiper amongst the movers over the Bill, where there were small arrivals of particularly Sedge Warblers and Blackcaps on the ground. Wader-wise, the first 4 Curlew Sandpipers of the autumn - along with a Common Sandpiper - were the pick of the new arrivals at Ferrybridge. The sea continued to produce, with 70 Balearic Shearwaters and 11 Arctic Skuas of note off the Bill.

This is always a bit of a depressing time of year from the point of view of losing so much birding time: just as autumn passage is getting to its peak so our chances of a post-teatime seawatch or check of Ferrybridge are fading fast as the evenings draw in - this evening we'd barely arrived at Ferrybridge before the sun sunk behind Chesil and scuppered our chances of a nicely lit Curlew Sandpiper © Martin Cade:

We get perverse pleasure from hiding the odd Tree Pipit amongst a catch of Meadow Pipits and seeing how many visiting ringers actually spot it  - seen like this the differences are gross (Tree Pipit on the left, Meadow Pipit on the right) but you'd be surprised...© Martin Cade: