7th May

The fact that no Willow Warblers were ringed all day at the Obs in what amounted to absolutely perfect mist-netting conditions just about summed up the migrant situation on a day that was so hot and sunny that it felt a lot more like July than early May. Fortunately, a handful of island scarcities salvaged some interest, with singles of Red Kite and Osprey through over Easton Lane and Weston respectively, singles of Continental Coal Tit and Corn Bunting at the Bill (the former also later at Wakeham) and 4 Pomarine Skuas through off the Bill. The rather pitiful show of commoner migrants on the ground was almost limited at the Bill to 30 Wheatears, 20 Chiffchaffs, 3 White Wagtails and a Spotted Flycatcher; overhead passage was stronger and included the first three figure total of Swifts of the spring as well as a continuing heavier than expected movement of Sand Martins. Waders increased a little, with 23 Whimbrel and 8 Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge. Manx Shearwaters dominated the numbers offshore, with close to 150/hour passing the Bill in the evening; additional to the Pomarine Skuas, singles of Great Northern Diver and Arctic Skua also passed by off the Bill.

The views of the Osprey over Weston were so good that some fortuitously snatched photos revealed it to be colour-ringed - blue Y1 - that in turn enabled it to be identified as a male ringed as a chick in the Kielder Forest, Northumberland, on 20th May 2016; evidently it had been spotted en route back to the UK in northern Spain on 26th April © Duncan Walbridge:

When it was such a common breeding bird at the Bill during the first few decades of the existence of the Obs you'd have never imagined for one moment that by the 21st century there'd be fewer Corn Buntings recorded here in a year than Ospreys - early May does still turn up the occasional vagrant jangling male and we cling to the hope that our conservation initiatives may eventually lead to their re-establishment © Martin Cade: 

Small Copper was on the wing for the first time this year - this one was at Bottomcombe © Ken Dolbear: 

Nocturnal recording in the last few very clear nights hasn't been particularly productive, with routine waders accounting for the majority of loggings - the first Greenshank of the spring were last night's highlight: