|Snipe at the Dams|
More than a fortnight has somehow flown by since my last summary of local endeavours, and so time rattle through the highlights before more begin to amass in the notebook and hard drive.....
|Sanderling on the Brigg|
The second week of August began positively, with a smart adult dark morph Pomarine Skua, over a hundred Manxies and a couple of hundred Oystercatchers through on a four-and-a-half hour morning sea-watch on the 7th (as well as three Minke Whales - they're still here, just fewer and further between....); a quiet couple of days then followed, before a walk out on the Brigg with friends on the 10th produced a Curlew Sandpiper calling and circuiting for a short while before heading off south - the first of the year here (and my first ever for the patch).
|Sparrowhawk at the Tip|
The following day, and the lure of the sea again won out; with the winds veering slightly north of west in the afternoon, maybe a few shearwaters would finally be on the move. As it turned out, a good call, and another four-hours plus from the hide - after a very quiet first couple of hours - produced 75 Manxies, five Sootys, and a cracking Cory's, cruising slowly north at 1820. Add on the bonus of four Minkes, and it was quite an afternoon.
|Two Garganey at the Dams|
Another quiet few days followed, with the wind persisently in the west or south-west; a kick around the bushes on the 18th could've been worse, with the first Tree Pipit of the autumn in Short Hedge, a dozen or so Willow Warblers and a few fresh-in Sylvias. Another evening walk out onto the Brigg with Amity in warm, dull conditions once more struck lucky, with three Roseate Terns calling loudly and buzzing around the rocks (and tourists) for a good half hour or so. Again a hard bird to catch up with locally and again a personal patch first-for-the-year.
|Spot the Minke Whale|
Over at the Dams, waders have been consistent and varied, with several Greenshank, up to double figures of Black-tailed Godwits, a handful of Dunlin, a couple of Ruff, up to eight Snipe, up to 85 Lapwings and the odd Green Sand usually present. However, the highlight there came on the evening of the 20th, when two Garganey gave themselves away for a while in amongst the Teal (never to be seen again).
|Another Sanderling, because they're worth it|
|Summer-plumage Turnstone on the Brigg|
The last couple of days have been quiet, with unhelpful conditions ensuring passerine migration is still to kick in and the seabirds have yet to step up a gear. That said, looking through the notebook for this last couple of weeks, it's been rarely dull, with plenty of highlights to enjoy.
|Summer-plumage Knot, ditto|
And with south-easterlies and weather fronts - and a very tasty-looking pressure chart for the next few days - arriving as I write, here's to the next bulletin......
|Summer-plumage Purple Sandpiper, ditto|