The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Shrike it Lucky

I suppose I should really save that brilliant/awful pun for the time when I actually find a Shrike.  But, the way things are going, that won't be until blogging has become obsolete.  Come to think of it, I actually found my very first Red-backed Shrike (Thorney Island - 2006), and that was long before I started blogging, so I suppose I've already had my chance to use it properly.

Sorry, enough of my waffling.  What happened today?

I set out early to take in the Barleycrates/Reap area before work.  It seemed that the weather changing away from easterlies has really halted things, and all I saw was a few Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, and a single Sedge Warbler.

Whilst working in Fortuneswell, yet another Grey Wagtail went over, and the calling of a Kestrel drew my attention to a possible bird of prey up over Verne prison.  I was thinking Osprey, but without bins it could easily have been a Gull.

As I got home, the news broke that Ian Stanley had found a Red-backed Shrike near Lodmoor, so off I went.  It was on view immediately, on the hillside below Horselynch plantation.  It was of course a juvenile, and not an adult male as hoped.  Nonetheless, it showed brilliantly, and entertained the small crowd with repeated successful snatches for Bumblebees and Grasshoppers.  It also disgorged a pellet.  I did my best with photos and video in terrible heat haze and wind.

As I was here, I thought I'd better give Lodmoor itself a proper look. 

Not a great deal to be seen, except a Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, and a few Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, and Teal.  Now it feels like autumn.

The highlight though were a couple of Hobby, which were of course hunting the very numerous Dragonflies.  A tip.  Don't try and phonescope birds in flight!

On the way home, I decided I would try the High Angle Battery once more, for these elusive Adonis Blues.  I immediately found a female thank goodness, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not find any males.  There clearly had been some, cause I then found this female egg-laying.

Also seen were a few late Marbled White, and among the birds was a Whinchat.
After tea I headed for the Bill, as in the morning the sea had been alive with Balearic Shearwaters.  Three quarters of an hour later, the sea had been alive once again, with waves!  Nothing of note whatsoever.  A shame but predictable. 
I did then get the chance to take a quick gander at the moth traps.  Some nice ones were the gorgeous Gold Spot (a wetland species, so a wanderer from the mainland).
Another wanderer, this time from acid grassland, the Antler.

And a rather striking Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix.

I've now got three days off in a row - an advantage of working part-time.  Conditions don't appear particularly promising, but surely I can find something worthy of note in the coming days.  I can only hope.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ode to a Sub-song


I immediately went down the Obs this morning cause I was going to show Alex Berryman round the island. 

With that in mind, I did a very long route showing him all the best spots in the south and middle. 

It was soon evident that there were again a good number of migrants about, with the Bill Common and Quarry being well scattered with Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear, plus a Whinchat.  A Peregrine gave us a nice fly-past at the Coastguards, and the Admiralty Hedge held a Spotted Flycatcher, a Sedge Warbler, and another Whinchat.  We were finally able to find the hoped for Pied Flycatcher at Reap Lane, as well as another 2 Whinchat.  It was clear at Barleycrates that the Ring Ouzel had departed, but then we entered Suckthumb Quarry.  In an Elder bush here we found a Garden Warbler and a Blackcap.  My first of both of those this autumn would you believe. 

We went on to the paddocks out the back of the Hump, and it was clear it was swarming with stuff.  Another Spotted Flycatcher, another Garden Warbler, a stunning male Redstart, and 2 Pied Flycatcher.  At one point the same bush held what seemed like most of these at once!

The Top Fields was the next stop, and we managed to find 2 female Redstart, and 3 Spotted Flycatcher in the same hedgerow!

We got back, just as we heard that a Wryneck had just been ringed, and released in the Obs Quarry area.  No sign sadly, though it was nice to be in the right place at the right time to see this juvenile White Wagtail in the hand.  The poor thing had just been clobbered by a Sparrowhawk, but escaped with only one small wound!

The flowers in the Obs garden were packed with insects, including at least 15 Painted Lady on one Buddleiha.  I also noticed this nice little congregation of a Signal Fly, and two Hover Fly (Episyrphus balteatus + Syrphus ribesii).
Come the evening, I heard about a Black Tern down at Ferrybridge, so rushed down there on my bike.  As I arrived, I was told the inevitable news that it had just flown off!  I was just about to leave when Martin suggested I take a look at the Harbour.  Thanks for the tip-off Martin, cause that's just where it was, roosting on a buoy!  Lots of Common Tern around as well, as well as the usual waders plus a Bar-tailed Godwit.
Nothing special today in terms of journey, as I took a chance at the usual migrant haunts.  In Suckthumb Quarry I came across the common fungus Ergot, which grows out of the seed-heads of grasses.  In the olden days this extremely poisonous fungus caused many deaths, as it would occasionally be harvested with Wheat and end up in bread.
The Hump was once again jumping with life, with at least 4 Spotted Flycatcher (including 3 in one bush!), 3 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 1 Garden Warbler, plus loads of Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.  The other surprises here were 3 juvenile Bullfinch (these birds really had me searching, as their calls sound just like distant Bee-eaters!), and 3 Tree Pipit sitting in a low Elder.  Nice to finally get a proper look at them!
The best surprise here though was the sight of a juvenile Cuckoo flapping over one of the horse fields.  My first proper autumn bird.
On getting to Obs area, after a rather uneventful walk up the East Cliffs, I heard that the Nightingale was singing from the Obs Quarry.  On my arrival, it's quiet sub-song could be heard very close-by.  I sat and listened for quite some time, and although the sound was moving very markedly, not once did I see any vegetation move!  Martin arrived and attempted to play a call to it, but accidentally played the call of Aquatic Warbler.  Nonetheless, it seemed to do the trick as it came right close and tacked angrily!  Still no appearance though!
Afterwards, I retired to the moth traps at the Obs.  Although there was nothing remarkable, there was still a great variety to look through.  The good ones were Satin Wave.
The second-generation of Yellow Belle.
The common migrant Rusty-dot Pearl.
And two Agonopterix. A common one Agonopterix arenella.

And not so common Agonopterix pallorella.

Also in the trap was the Burrying Beetle Nicrophorus humator. Be careful if you come across one of these, not because they can bite, but because they absolutely stink (and are always covered with mites)!
A particularly spectacular sight from the Obs this afternoon was quite a large pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphin distantly offshore, endulging in plenty of breaching.


I was going to wend my way back, but I thought I'd take to opportunity first to join a few of the guys in the fields (very much remembering the Ortolan had been there the previous day!).  Nothing had been seen, up to the point I got to the very far corner of the field, and something took flight.  I'm not going to stake my life on it, but I suspect it the was the previous-days Wryneck.  I'm sure I saw a patterned tail as it bounded off and came down right in the middle somewhere.  There was no further sign of it, though I wonder whether the bird Alex had close-by this afternoon was the same.
Four Whinchat on the same fence were nice on the way back.
I'm looking forward to a few days of cloudy skies (both promising for migrants, and a bit more comfortable for the fieldworker!).

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

August Ouzel? Awesome!

Although I was working this morning, I did my best to get out there and flog those bushes and fields, what with all the action from yesterday and elsewhere in the country.

First thing, I did my usual little loop covering Barleycrates, Reap Lane, and the Hump.  Not a great deal about initially compared to yesterday, just a few Wheatear and fly-over Yellow Wagtail.  The Gulls were all flocking in the fields attempting to gorge themselves on the bountiful Flying Ants.

The area around the barns at Reap Lane always looks promising, and yesterdays (or possibly new) Pied Flycatcher was still in the Sycamores, though today it was joined by a Spotted Flycatcher.  They may be relations, but they didn't get on, as they chased each other through the branches!  Sunrise over the barns.

The Hump and Suckthumb area was largely disappointing, though a Peregrine flew over, as did 2 Tree Pipit, and I did get a glimpse of a Phylloscopus that appeared to have a particularly bright supercillium.  A few plays of the call of Greenish on my phone fell on deaf ears.

Whilst working at Fortuneswell, a Grey Wagtail flew over calling. No doubt one of the birds the Saunders' had over Ferrybridge. 

After that, I sneaked a peak at the Verne Common area.  I had just set foot in the bushes when two Tree Pipit called very close.  One was sitting on the roof of a house, and the other appeared to be down in a concrete basketball court!  The first ones I've seen on the deck this autumn.  A Lesser Whitethroat flitted through the railings of the same compound.

Just a few steps later, and another Pied Flycatcher showed itself, though only another Lesser Whitethroat could be found on the rest of the site.  A Whimbrel called from somewhere in Portland Harbour.

I had a quick unenthusiastic look for a Wryneck that had been found very nearby, to no avail.

After work, I was very determined to take a look at the plethora of monster moths at the Obs, but no sooner had I got there, then I was off again on news of the Ortolan being seen once more! 

I entered a very promising weedy field on the edge of Southwell to search for the bird, only to realise that many of the 'weeds' were in fact a tick!  The pretty Round-leaved Fluellen was once common when farming was without chemical-usage, but has since become quite rare.  Nice to see so much of it here (note the leaf-mines, which are probably the work of a fly larvae rather than a moth).

No sign of the bird unsurprisingly, but nice consolations were a Portland tick of a Greenshank flying down the East Cliffs, and the enormous numbers of hirundines in every direction, no doubt taking advantage of those bird-fodder, the Flying Ants.  All three species were found, as well as a few Swift still about.

I finally found the window of opportunity to admire the moths.

The rarest species was this rather dower looking Tamarisk Peacock, which is a rare migrant with only a few records nationally, most of those in Kent.

The star as far as I was concerned though was this Convolvulus Hawk-moth, which is a species I've always wanted to see.  They're called that because the caterpillars feed on Field Bindweed (of which the latin name is convolvulus).

Although this Bedstraw Hawk-moth is the best looking of all these species, it does feel a bit like cheating to have it brought in from elsewhere.  This is why I only count moths on my list if it's been trapped at the site that night (or preferably, if I was involved in the trapping session!).  Can't deny it's a looker though!  Thanks to Debby Saunders for bringing it in.
The other lifer was a bit of a tarts tick, as Nutmeg is supposed to be a common species. Still didn't come across one in my three years of trapping in Surrey!
The other highlights in the traps were this beautifully fresh Marbled Green.
This first of the year Feathered Gothic (named after the 'feathered' white lines on the wings, and not the antennae, though they are striking!).

Plus this cool Dor Beetle Geotrupes stercorarius.

Afterwards, I took a quick punt at seeing the Nightingale in the Obs Quarry, though the vigil produced no movement in there whatsoever.  So, there was nothing for it but to head home.
I thought it was worth just popping into the Hump once again, just in case I got lucky with this promising Phyllloscopus I saw earlier.  By Avalanche Road I found my third Pied Flycatcher of the day. 
There was a fair amount of activity around the Hump, seemingly more than during my earlier visit.  Accompanying a Robin on one of the fences was, yes, another Pied Flycatcher!  And shortly after, a constantly calling female Redstart was found.  Maybe the one I had a few days ago with a male?  All that calling was no doubt in pining for her mate that had left for Africa without her!
On walking down the housing-edge footpath of Barleycrates Lane, I heard an unfamiliar tacking.  I probably would have twigged what it was, had it not been for a strange call I'd just experienced from a juvenile Blackbird hidden deep in a bush!  Although the bird was largely sillouetted, the pale-fringed body feathers ID'd it as a Ring Ouzel, the first here this autumn!  You may think this is a little depressing, seeing this late-autumn species now, but I say bring it on! 
It only allowed for the one rushed shot once it had popped up into the sunlight.


Two days off in a row now, and I intend to make the most of them.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Portland Shining Bright

The best day since I moved here was enjoyed today, though there were two big disappointments. A) I wasn't able to get any bird photos for varying reasons, and B) I didn't find anything of significance myself, despite being in the field virtually all day.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy it hugely, and hopefully this is just the start of a classic Portland autumn.

Although I was out all day, I did have a little bit of a lie-in, as the Cornish shenanigans had taken a lot out of me.  I headed out to Barleycrates as usual, and seeing the first field covered in Wheatears (at least 10) certainly got my hopes up.  Bumping into Debby and Pete Saunders, we got to the end of the lane, only for a flock of 5 Redshank to fly over south calling.  They also had two larger birds with them, but I suspect they were Pigeons.

Into Suckthumb quarry, which initially seemed quiet.  Though, out into the middle I found a nice Spotted Flycatcher, and shortly after found a little patch of warbler activity by the hump, but they frustratingly eluded identification (other than a couple of Willow Warbler).

Top Fields was largely quiet, except for a single female Redstart by the farm, and a load of Yellow Wagtail.

I was eager to get to the Obs, to see the star moth capture.  Shame it's a bit worn, but this Shining Marbled is rare indeed, with only 3/4 previous records.

I'm not sure how many traps Martin ran, but there were a lot of other moths to look through.  The other highlights being a Vestal (with Orange Swift).
Not unusual at all, but the first Purple Bar I've seen at Portland.

And the best of the micros was this lifer, Agonopteryx subpropinquella.
Whilst I was searching through the traps, Brett Spencer (see his great blog ) phoned the Obs to say an Osprey was circling over the Bill.  It wasn't hard to find from the Obs patio, as it soared up on a thermal, being harassed by a Great Black-backed Gull.  Quite possibly the same bird had earlier been seen at Abbotsbury.
I headed back home, travelling via the East Cliffs and the Admiralty Hedge, seeing nowt bar loads more Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail.  I got to the Reap Lane barns, and quickly found the Pied Flycatcher that the Saunders' had found earlier.  Though, it was hard to follow as zillions of House Sparrow were fly-catching in the same trees!
I was nearly home when I got the message that a Wryneck had been found.  Probably the most predictable find of the day (I was hoping to find my own in the north-island quarries after lunch!).  I rushed down there, and soon had good views of the bird preening in the middle of an Elder. 
I was about to get the camera out to get some shots, when someone informed us that an Ortolan Bunting had just been found, by that man Brett again (plus Julian Thomas) at the East Cliffs, very close to where I'd walked earlier in the day!  We all rushed up there, leaving the Wryneck no doubt feeling rather usurped!  We searched the area, including all the nearby fields and quarries.  No sign.  Would have been a lifer, but hopefully more will occur here this autumn.
I finally got an opportunity to do my shopping and get something to eat I thought.  Well, I got the former in, but not the latter, as a Curlew Sandpiper was found at Ferrybridge!  No time to eat in autumn at Portland!
I cycled down there, getting showered with Flying Ants on the way, only to find the place teeming with imbecile holidaymakers as usual.  I started scanning.  There was still plenty of waders out there though, including Sanderling, Redshank, Turnstone, Little Stint....wait...Little Stint!  I was not expecting to find that!  There were actually two birds, and another also flew over in addition.  Joe arrived, and quickly found the Curlew Sandpiper, though the flushing of the birds continued, and all the goodies soon scarpered, so only brief views of the Curlew Sand were had.
On the way back I checked out Tout Quarry and Lancridge (the bushes above Chesil Cove and below Priory Corner).  The latter was a marvellous little spot that would certainly repay further investigation, though exploring it in shorts isn't a good idea, as I found out to my cost!
All in all, a very tiring and enjoyable day, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.  These easterly-induced goodies need to filter down here now!

The Dipping Tale of a Citrine


I was very excited to go on my first proper seawatch in Cornwall this weekend.  The weather had looked promising on the long-range forecast, so I took the gamble.

My sum experience of birding in Cornwall was a long weekend there in October 2008, principally looking a migrant passerines, so seawatching took a back foot. 

I met up with Garry Bagnell, George Kinnard, and Hugh Price at Dorchester in the evening of the 24th, and we drove all the way to Pendeen and camped the night at a nearby site.  Baggers' tent was luxurious, for a tent!

After the predictable poor nights sleep, we headed for the rugged headland.  The view from Pendeen lighthouse.

The wind was in the east initially, and we were hopeful that it would swing round, as the forecast stated.  It didn't.  Although there was a constant presence of Manx Shearwater offshore, none of the hoped for species turned up.  We did manage to see a few Sooty Shearwater, though many were distant.  We also saw 2 Great Skua, Arctic Skua, 2 Sandwich Tern, a Common Tern being chased briefly by a Peregrine, 4 Raven, and a small group of Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit
Despite the wind direction, we decided Porthgwarra might be worth popping in to, at the very least for Balearic.  There were loads of Manxies there too, though I spotted just the one Balearic Shearwater amongst them.  A few others passed unseen by me in addition.  The highlight here though was a Basking Shark which only seemed to surface briefly.  Although the approaching ship Scillonian III didn't help, as it almost ran into it! 
Our last chance to save our Cornish adventure was Marazion Marsh near Penzance, so that's where we headed.
I had visited here briefly on my last Cornwall trip, though I didn't really explore it at all.  It's a fab looking place.

And it was all the better today, cause it had a 1st-winter Citrine Wagtail in it!  The area the bird was in was not difficult to get to (unlike the parking!), and we had great views of it, even though it was obscured by vegetation much of the time! 

I guess from the title you were thinking we dipped it.  Well no, but we dipped everything else, so it's appropriate!
We headed home on the news that the first Hippolais warbler of the autumn had been found on Portland.  Not a Melodious as all expected, but an Icterine.  After the long drive, we got to the Eight Kings Quarry, only to find the bird had not been seen for a little while, despite showing on and off all afternoon!  All we saw in there were Willow Warbler and Whitethroat, and our hopes were well and truly scuppered when the landowner came along and chucked us out of the field, even though it had nothing in it!  A couple of cursory glances from the local plod was the last straw, and we had to give up.  A shame, but predictable given the rest of the day we had.
Nonetheless, I greatly enjoyed the trip, and I hope I get another bite of the Cornish seawatching cherry before the season is out.  Thanks Garry for organising and driving.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Oblique Terning

The last couple of days past largely uneventfully, until last night and this morning, in which mothing provided plenty of interest.


The only birding I was able to do this morning was a quick whizz round the Barelycrates/Reap area at dawn.  As soon as I got alongside the crop, I flushed 4 Yellow Wagtail that had clearly roosted there.  Just a few Wheatear and a fly-over Tree Pipit later, it was time to go to work.

Afterwards, I took the short walk down to Tout Quarry, where I had another attempt at searching for 2nd-generation Adonis Blues.  Still no luck amongst the numerous Common Blue.  Has anyone seen any of the 2nd-gen on Portland?  In theory they should be having a good year.  Just 3 more Wheatear and a good passage of hirundines on the bird front.

After lunch I cycled down the Obs.  One of my tripod legs is constantly loose, so I've had to use gaffer tape to secure it in position (I really can't justify getting a new one at present, having not so long ago bought new optics).  This means that I have to cycle with the leg sticking out the top of my rucksack.  This has been the case for some time, and I'm getting sick and tired of Gulls constantly mobbing me as I pass by their nesting-buildings.  I'm assuming they think it's a gun!

So, next time you see a cloud of screaming Gulls approaching, don't scan about for the raptor they're mobbing, it just means I'm on my way.


This morning it was just another check of Barleycrates/Reap/Hump area.  A few more fly-over Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit later, it was time for work.  Also another Tree Pipit over Fortuneswell, which I actually saw (with the naked eye)!  I heard a possible Grey Wagtail over Fortuneswell as well, but couldn't get enough on it.

In the evening, there was a unofficial mothing event taking place at Radipole.  Not having any means of trapping myself at the moment means I must take all opportunities to do some proper mothing to get my fix!

On the way I thought it was worth popping into Ferrybridge, where the tide was rising.  Just the usual stuff really, but the Terns were very numerous and close, making nice comparisons.  Just Common and Little Tern present, but I've called the scrutinising of Terns 'Terning' for the purpose of the blog title (sorry, I can't help myself)!  Waders included the usual Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, and also solitary Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit.  It occurred to me, whilst watching these birds feeding very much apart, that unlike other waders, the two Godwits never seem to mix.  It appears that the two closely-related Godwits would rather be antisocial than join together for safety in numbers it seems!

So on arrival at Radipole, we set the 8(!) traps up near North Hide, and set about netting the moths on addition.  We were hoping in particular for the Wainscot species, the main target being the rare Rush. 

On our rounds, I also took notice of the birds and plants (as I do!).  Some of the scarcer plants seen were Wild Angelica, Stone Parsley, and Square-stalked St John's-wort.  And, on the avian front, we heard Cetti's Warbler, Green Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, and Tree Pipit at various times during the night/morning.

The moths turned out to be fab, despite a completely clear night, with a full moon rising mid-session.  We got a total number of species over a hundred, which is very good for the time of year.  For me, the highlight was my one and only macro lifer of Oblique Carpet, of which we got many.

We did get a good selection of Wainscots, though no  Rush sadly, including Small, Bulrush, Twin-spotted, Brown-veined, and Southern.  Some of the other star macros included Gold Spot, Jersey Tiger, Dog's Tooth, and Crescent.
The micros were excellent too, including a number of lifers such as the Skullcap-feeder Prochoreutis myllerana and Agonopteryx ocellana.  Some of the other micro highlights included the delicately-marked (the photo doesn't do it justice at all) Epermenia falciformis.

And the rare Scrobipalpa suaedella, which is presumably a wanderer from Ferrybridge, where it's foodplant, Shrubby Sea-blite, is to be found.

Thanks to all involved in the thoroughly-enjoyable evening.


Rather bleary-eyed, I headed down to the Bill this morning just to check they hadn't had the Aquatic Warbler that Luke, the warden of Radipole, was predicting!

It was fantastic instead to bump into two of my old muckers from Surrey.  So myself and the 'Embarrasment of Riches' (Messrs Horton and Seargent) went for a walk round the Bill and Top Fields area.  Just the usual stuff for recent times really, though it was great to see 3 different Whinchat amongst a fair scattering of Wheatear.

The weekend, if all goes to plan, will bring my first ever proper Cornwall seawatch.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hump Start

First of all, I need to start with the sad news that 'my' Gannet died yesterday afternoon.  It was feeding well, though it got weaker and weaker.  We assume it had a disease of some sort, but I do wonder if the swarms of Lice on the bird had something to do with it.  Anyway, it's comforting to me that I believe that even if the world authority on Gannets had found the bird, there's nothing that could have been done for it.

On to happier news, and today dawned beautiful and clear with barely any wind.  These weren't at first glance good conditions for any sort of birding, whether it be seawatching or looking for grounded migrants.  I guess however, that the full moon and clear skies meant that plenty was moving, as a good number of birds, particularly day-flying migrants, were seen.

I did my usual walk to the Obs via Barleycrates, Reap, Admiralty Hedge, Top Fields, and Culverwell.  Walking along Barleycrates, I heard at least 2 Tree Pipit flying over calling, though I couldn't locate them in the blue sky.  Onto Reap, and on the field at the end were 4 Wheatear.  I've seen a small party of Wheatear here for a couple of weeks now.  The same birds or are they moving through?

Just past the Southwell Business Park, I heard a Yellow Wagtail overhead, and then another, but I still couldn't find them in the sky.  A few Whitethroats were about, and at least another 2 Tree Pipit over.  About the time I was watching the bushes by Admiralty Hedge, evidently a Marsh Harrier passed over, quite possibly right over my head!

In Top Fields, I came across 3 more Wheatear, and a scattering of Willow Warbler.  I also found my own Jersey Tiger, which I mistook in flight for a Painted Lady.  Sounds like a silly mistake, but I did exactly the same thing later on at the Hump!  They're clearly flying in numbers at the moment.

A flock of 8 Yellow Wagtail flew over, and I went on to find a couple settled in a horse field on the Bill Road with Pied Wagtails.

I took a look in the Obs moth traps, but there was nothing new (it's the Shuttle-shaped Dart phase!).  I wasn't there for long, but I still managed to see a passing Arctic Skua on the sea.  A short vigil overlooking the Crown Estate Field, revealed just how many birds were about.  Huge flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet, Starling, and House Sparrow disturbed from the fields, several Kestrel and two Buzzard hunting, plus a large gathering of hirundines and a few Swifts over Top Fields.  It's that time of year!  However, there's no doubt in my mind that the management of this newly-acquired land is working wonders for the amount of seeds and insects available.

I took my route back via Sweethill, Avalanche Road Hump, and Suckthumb Quarry.  The Hump itself seemed pretty quiet, though a few 'peeps' coming from within could have been a Spotted Flycatcher.  But, in the bushes at the back of the Hump I found the stars of the day, a male and female Redstart.  They seemed to be feeding well in a small clump of Buddleiha and Sycamore.

This was the only shot I managed of the male!

Come the afternoon, news came through that a Roseate Tern, first seen a couple of evenings ago, was back at Ferrybridge.

I rushed down there, but despite the thankful lack of human disturbance, there was no sign of the bird.  There were a good number of Terns about, including about 24 Common Tern and 15 Little Tern.  There were less waders than there had been in previous days, but there was a few Sanderling, Turnstone, and a single Bar-tailed Godwit.  These were alongside the usual Dunlin and Ringed Plover of course, one of the latter being particularly confiding.

And, eventually it came so close, I couldn't get it all in the shot!

But, the Sanderling weren't quite so helpful.

There's a little more cloud in the forecast for the next few days, so I'm hoping that in the full moon, grounded night-migrant numbers will increase.