19th May

In bright and increasingly breezy westerlies migrant interest was rather limited, with 2 Turtle Doves at Thumb Lane easily the best on offer. The Bill got plenty of coverage but couldn't muster more than 4 each of Whimbrel, Wheatear and Spotted Flycatcher, 3 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 2 each of Yellow Wagtail and Willow Warbler, and singles of Grey Plover and Garden Warbler; despite the sunny skies visible passage there was limited to a trickle of hirundines, although these did include a late Sand Martin. Further reports from elsewhere included a smattering of Spotted Flycatchers around the centre of the island and 40 Sanderling and 15 Dunlin at Ferrybridge.

Hummingbird Hawkmoths have begun to feature in recent days, with singles reported from several sites today. Immigrant moth interest overnight was limited to a handful of Rush Veneer, Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y trapped at the Obs.

Inevitably, common migrant interest is fizzling out now that we've got past the middle of May, with just the likes of tardy Wheatears cropping up during the quests for something rarer © Martin Cade:

The only peculiar event common migrant-wise is something we've drawn attention to in previous years - the late season arrival of new Chiffchaffs; trapping-wise, this year's spring Chiffchaff peak occurred on 16th March, with yesterday's 8 birds ringed at the Obs constituting the highest day total there since as long ago as 22nd April. An entirely expected annual event this late May/early June passage might be but it's something that we have no obvious explanation for: why do these birds arrive so much later than the bulk of the population? Are we missing something and perhaps overlooking that some are from far northern populations -  towards abietinus maybe? They certainly don't give the impression of being anything other than 'British' Chiffchaffs; for example, with it's huge 'pollen horn' one of yesterday's birds would have looked quite at home amongst a fall of Mediterranean-wintering Chiffchaffs two months ago © Martin Cade: