31st May

Heavily overcast skies - at least until the sun finally broke through during the afternoon - made all the difference today and there was a welcome flourish of late migrants to get amongst. As expected, Spotted Flycatchers were to the fore with at least 17 scattered about at the Bill; 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Reed Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher were also new there and 3 lingering Blackcaps were an addition to the mix. Offshore, 57 Common Scoter were still on the move even if the increasing component of westbound birds amongst them suggests that many now are non-breeders.

You'd think that a Red-breasted Flycatcher would be more on the cards at this time of year but we drew the short straw today and our one non Spot Fly was 'just' a Pied © Martin Cade:

If ever there's a characteristic sound of the late spring at Portland it has to be the constant chuntering of a Reed Warbler; we have some ringing evidence to suggest that these late arrivals include a lot of the previous year's youngsters that are presumably making exploratory trips northward way after the main passage of breeding adults has finished. For whatever reason they always seem perfectly happy to sing all day in inappropriate habitat and it's an odd feature that they're often rooted to the same bush or tree they pitched up in: we didn't ever see/hear today's bird at the Obs leave one small clump of trees - it was singing there at dawn and it was still singing there when we left at the end of the afternoon © Martin Cade: