26th May

At the second attempt of trying, shortly after midnight the first Storm Petrel of the summer was tape-lured, trapped and ringed at the Bill. After a drop of rain in the late hours of the night the calm, heavily overcast dawn looked very promising indeed, so it was rather disappointing to find that the first hour revealed precious little on the ground; that soon changed when in quick succession first a Serin and then a singing Common Rosefinch showed up in the vicinity of the Obs/beach hut fields. Both lingered for a while before the Rosefinch relocated to Southwell later in the morning. A fly-over Brambling was another surprise newcomer at the Bill, where 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Reed Warblers and singles of Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher and Chaffinch also showed up; elsewhere, 2 Turtle Doves passed over at Blacknor. The sea was still worth a look, with 56 Common Scoter, 25 commic terns, 3 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua through off the Bill.

Immigrant interest in the Obs garden moth-traps consisted of 2 Pearly Underwings and singles of Dark Spectacle and Silver Y.

Common Rosefinch and Serin - Southwell and Portland Bill © Nick Stantiford (Rosefinch stills) and Martin Cade (Rosefinch video and Serin)
...and, although it's only of rather esoteric interest, Nick's cracking photos of the Common Rosefinch on his garden bird-feeder show evidence of the partial moult of the flight-feathers exhibited by (some/all?) first-years that's alluded to in Svensson and illustrated in one or two blogs elsewhere on the web - here the three longest primaries are clearly newer/fresher than the older/worn inner primaries:

And a few sounds from the days oddities. The Rosefinch was initially singing quite well at the Obs:

...and later Nick Stantiford got a really very decent recording of it just with his mobile phone when it was singing in his garden at Southwell:

...maybe we've just been inattentive in the past, but today's bird seemed to be calling in flight a lot more frequently than is usually the case; most of our attempts at recording these quite subtle calls were spoilt by miscellaneous birders shouting that it was flying (...yes, we could see that for ourselves...) but you can just about make out some calls here as it flies over the Obs heading towards Culverwell:

...and, finally, a few calls from the Serin: