28th May

Any worries that the excitements of the past couple of days might be a flash in the pan were very quickly dispelled with an early morning reappearance of the 4 Bee-eaters in and over the Obs garden, where they performed admirably for a couple of hours before leaving high to the south. The hot streak at the Obs was further maintained early in the afternoon when the mist-nets struck with a previously unseen Red-breasted Flycatcher; sadly it proved less than cooperative and wasn't seen after release. The day's other happenings paled into insignificance, but did include new singles of Hobby, Golden PloverReed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher at the Bill and 124 Common Scoter and a Great Northern Diver through on the sea there.

Immigrant-wise, 2 Rusty-dot Pearls were a first record for the year in the Obs garden moth-traps, that also came up with 7 Diamond-back Moths and a Silver Y.

Bee-eaters, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Hobby - Portland Bill, 28th May 2014 © Martin Cade
...never frequent at the best of times, if we remember rightly the Red-breasted Flycatcher is only Portland's seventh spring record, as well as being the first to occur in May (the previous records were all in mid-June). If the date was a bit unexpected then the bird's age certainly wasn't: just like all the recent records it was a first-summer with well-worn plumage and tell-tale little buff tips to most of the greater coverts (which were actually surprisingly hard to see on the closed wing when the bird was held at any distance):

We've never quite been able to work out whether first-summer males can ever have traces of red on the throat, but either way none of our recent spring birds have had any so, like today's bird, they've all fallen into the un-sexed category (additional photos © Martin Cade).