20th May

It would've taken something extraordinary for someone to have guessed the combination of birds sighted today. A couple of anticipated scarcities included a Golden Oriole singing in Southwell and a fly-over Bee-eater at the Windmills and the Bill.  Less expected - but actually more gripping for Portland! - were 2 passing Egyptian Geese off East Cliffs; combine this with the first Greenshank of the year, a fly-over Golden Plover and the lingering Turtle Dove and you've got a truly varied selection of oddities. Common migrants were present but in lower numbers than previous days with Spotted Flycatchers only just breaching double figures. Singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and Great Skua through off the Bill salvaged some interest from on otherwise pretty quiet sea.

It's looking like most of the local breeding Swallows are back on station but tardy migrants - along with a few Swifts and House Martins - continue to trickle in off the sea © Nick Hopper:

Although perfectly audible the Golden Oriole was initially tucked away out of view behind the houses in Southwell

eventually though it did give itself up in typically fleeting circumstances as it dashed between Avalanche Road and Thumb Lane © Nick Hopper: