7th May

A really pleasant day to be birding the island, with the light northerly dropping a decent scatter of migrants everywhere. At the Bill, Willow Warblers remained dominant and racked up a total of 150, but variety-wise most of the expected later migrants put in reasonable showings: an obvious arrival of Whitethroats saw their tally top 50 for the first time this spring, whilst the likes of 12 each of Yellow Wagtail and Redstart, 10 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Corn Buntings, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher and late singles of Fieldfare and Siskin were of particular note amongst the lower totals; a similar scatter elsewhere included 3 more Pied Flycatchers and a Cuckoo. Visible passage was very heavy for a few hours during the morning when Swallows were arriving at up to 3000 per hour at the Bill. The sea got plenty of attention but returned limited rewards, with 3 Arctic Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and Pomarine Skua the highlights off the Bill.

There could be no complaints about the level of coverage today, with birders swamping the Bill and getting a fair bit of reward for their trouble © Martin Cade:

Whitethroats have been conspicuously under-represented amongst the wealth of migrants passing through in the last three weeks so today's much better showing in the log was very welcome © Martin Cade:

How we'd love this to become a familiar scene once again at the Bill - 2 Corn Buntings in one photograph for the first time in many years; despite having the look of migrants that departed almost as soon as they'd first been spotted, these two birds showed up again several hours later © Martin Cade:

An Adder at High Angle Battery this weekend © Andy Mitchell:

A perplexing feature of the morning were several appearances overhead of an unidentified finch. On each of its fly-bys it was called as a Serin but each time caveats were voiced that it didn't sound quite right. We'd like to think we're very familiar with the flight call of passing Serins and to our ears this otherwise typically tinkling Serin-like call immediately sounded hollow and less metallic/high pitched than usual:

With the bird nearly always high overhead and in silhouette, field views were hopelessly inadequate but our woefully duff photos do at least give some feel for a bird that was longer-billed and longer-tailed than a Serin; on what looks to be rather uniformly greenish plumage the only obvious field marks we can make out are a broad paler wing-bar (or, depending on how you perceive these things, two black wing-bars) and some limited streaking on the rear flanks © Martin Cade: