6th-10th MayRubbish weather on 6th saw few highlights, although three Dotterel on Mire of Vatnagaard briefly would have been more appreciated if the visibility hadn't dropped to about five metres by the time we attempted (unsuccessfully) to relocate them. There were also Grey Wagtail and Cormorant new in, an increase in Dunlin to 28 and a Waxwing still present, along with Kumlien's Gull (to 7th) and the Caspian Stonechat (to 10th).
A better day on 7th saw several highlights including a Corncrake trapped in the Gully, the first Wood Sandpiper, Great Northern Diver (both near Ditfield) and Garden Warbler (in Field Ditch) of the year, a Goosander (which lingered off the south coast until 10th) and the Subalpine Warbler at Burkle and Wryneck both re-emerged in the sunshine.
|Corncrake (photo: Ciaran Hatsell)|
An interesting selection of migrants included five each of Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, Short-eared Owl and 63 Swallow, with passerines showing increases including 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroat, 4 Sedge Warbler, 8 Ring Ouzel, Pied Flycatcher, 5 Tree Sparrow and 3 Linnet.
|Subalpine Warbler (photo: Deryk Shaw). The sunshine was to this bird's liking, with it bursting into song on occasion.|
|The second Wryneck of the year to be trapped in what has been a very good spring for this amazing species (photo: Ciaran Hatsell).|
A slightly fresher easterly breeze on 9th saw a good selection of migrants, with the highlights including the second Little Bunting and Bluethroat of the spring, the fourth Short-toed Lark of the year, a Grey-headed Wagtail (a smart male at Da Water), Wryneck (probably a lingering bird at Lower Leogh) and the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year (in Skinner's Glig).
|The Little Bunting on the cliffs of Easter Lother. The second of the year makes it the best spring for this species since 2002. (photo Bex Outram).|
|Male red-spotted Bluethroat on the beach at Furse (photo: Ciaran Hatsell).|
Although the promising feeling conditions continued on 10th, highlights were disappointingly limited, with the first Reed Warbler and Cuckoo of the year, an increase in Pied Flycatchers to 5 and the first Jack Snipe of the month.
|Fulmar. Seabirds are starting to settle down a bit now and we wait to see how the season develops. Guillemots, Razorbill, Shags and Gannets are all on eggs (and Snipe, Curlew and Oystercatchers are all now incubating as well).|
It looks like we're due some Northerlies for a few days, which is likely to slow migration down (but hopefully allow us to catch up with some other work!), but quite often the first day of unpromising weather brings a last big rarity from a productive spell, so will it be another day of interrupting the Sunday roast? We'll find out soon...