18th May

On a day that at least until late afternoon had a good deal more cloud in the sky than expected hirundines made up the bulk of the numbers but there was also a varied selection of late migrants on the ground. The burgeoning Tree Sparrow group at the Bill increased to 3, whilst other grounded migrants there included 10 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 7 Redstarts, 4 Wheatears, 3 each of Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher, 2 each of Yellow Wagtail and Reed Warbler, and singles of Black Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and Bullfinch; waders at Ferrybridge included 10 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel. Hirundines and to a lesser extent Swifts were moving through in quantity, with a sample 25 minute count of 130 Swallows, 29 Swifts and 22 House Martins through along West Cliffs at the Bill certainly being representative of what looked to be a strong day-long passage. Seawatch reports included 70 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers and singles of Great Skua and Arctic Skua through off the Bill and 4 Arctic Skuas and a Great Northern Diver through off Chesil.

A Basking Shark was off Chesil during the morning.

We've never been quite sure why - shouldn't they be off breeding somewhere? - but May has always been the peak spring month for migrant/vagrant/wandering Tree Sparrows at Portland © Martin Cade: 

Now that the flock is up to three the Tree Sparrows have got quite noisy:

Tardy migrants continue to feature, including Wheatear, Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail at the Bill over the last couple of days © Martin Cade (Wheatear & Whinchat) and Erin Taylor (Yellow Wagtail):