6th June

We're struggling to remember a June storm that was quite as ferocious as the one that blew in overnight (we've been told that the wind strength was gusting up to force 10 at times) and left in its wake a scene of minor devastation around the island with the ground carpeted in fallen leaves and quite substantial branches broken from trees; with the wind remaining up around gale force for the best part of the day seawatching was the only birding possible. Storm Petrels featured off the Bill throughout the day but it was difficult to get a handle on numbers and quite likely that the majority of sightings related to the same few lingering individuals; Manx Shearwaters were also a mixture of lingerers and passing birds but certainly got into the low hundreds, whilst 32 Common Scoter, 5 Arctic Skuas, a Balearic Shearwater and a Great Skua also passed by.

The gaping holes exposed in many of the trees around the Obs garden after an extraordinary amount of leaf-fall would have been useful during last week's Greenish/Two-barred Greenish episode and might yet prove handy before the spring's out:

The strength of the wind was enough to literally rip apart quite a few of our carefully nurtured Tree Mallows:

Manx Shearwaters were an ever-present feature offshore even if their numbers didn't approach yesterday's tally © Martin King (top) and Martin Cade (bottom):

One or two of the day's Storm Petrels looked to be passing straight through but the majority of sightings were of lingering birds and we suspect that very few individuals were involved - gone are the days of 20 or so years ago when counts of way into three figures would have been quite routine on windy days at this time of year © Martin Cade: