1st May

A cool, breezy start to May but with enough on land and sea to keep visitors entertained. The 2 lingering Golden Orioles at the Bill attracted a steady trickle of admirers and although there was nothing else by way of a scarcity the spread of routine migrants included most of what might be expected at this stage of the season, with a Turtle Dove at Tout Quarry, a Pied Flycatcher at Wakeham and 6 Redstarts, 6 Whinchats, 4 Yellow Wagtails and singles of Hobby, Common Sandpiper and White Wagtail at Southwell/the Bill of note. Offshore, Manx Shearwaters dominated the numbers: sample counts suggested as many as 10000 passed the Bill through the day as a whole but with movement taking place in both directions it seems unlikely that there wasn't huge duplication; proper passage of other seabirds only really got going once the wind backed out of the north after midday, with 51 commic terns, 40 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Great Skuas, 9 Arctic Skuas, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Pomarine Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver eventually logged at the Bill.

Redstart at Southwell © Debby Saunders...

...and Great Northern Diver off the Bill © Ken King:

The Golden Orioles were rarely particularly close but at times they were showing really quite nicely © Martin Cade:

Maybe through having been around too long we can remember the times when evening seawatching at the obelisk used to be a popular activity at the Bill; sadly, interest's dwindled these days which is a shame since there's often just as much on the move as in the mornings © Martin Cade: