6th November

The year's first Long-tailed Duck that dropped in at Ferrybridge provided a nice highlight on what was otherwise a day of samey happenings in samey conditions. Given the clear, blustery dawn it would have been a surprise if the sky hadn't been soon filled up with departing Wood Pigeons and sure enough another 21500 left to the south over the Bill; 320 Goldfinches, 250 Chaffinches, 155 Stock Doves (again, likely to be a considerable undercount since all were mingled in with the Wood Pigeons), 115 Jackdaws, 105 Linnets and 65 Skylarks also headed south, whilst 515 Starlings arrived in off the sea. A Merlin was in frequent attendance overhead but there was little else of note beyond a few tardy Swallows amongst the overflying migrants. A steady movement offshore at the Bill included 70 Common Gulls and 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls heading west. Land interest remained far from compelling, with 3 Tree Sparrows at Perryfields and 2 Firecrests at Pennsylvania Castle by far the best of some poor numbers and even poorer variety on the ground.

The era of a dead cert Long-tailed Duck being about during the winter months is long, long gone so any that make it into island waters these days are certainly to be appreciated © Pete Saunders: