16th May

An early morning bank of cloud, coupled with a small drop in the wind, saw an upturn in Spotted Flycatcher passage with five trapped at the Obs, another three across the Bill area and several more elsewhere. A promising movement of hirundines and Swifts up the West Cliffs added to the feeling of anticipation throughout the day. Unfortunately no major 'biggie' reared its head, but an unusual-looking Chiffchaff in the nets in the afternoon got us going for a while (more on this bird to come). The rest of the day was made up of smatterings of common migrants including another Hobby through at Blacknor. The sea saw further signs of a summer gull flock beginning to accumulate and drag in the likes of higher numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls than have been evident just lately, but little actually on the move beyond a late flurry of 131 Common Scoter. Wader passage continued and included 22 Sanderling at Ferrybridge.

One of the Swallows on the move along West Cliffs today was this apparent juvenile; conventional wisdom has it that these birds are the progeny of early arrivals in southern Europe and it's hard to think of another explanation even if we are a tad nervous of accepting it as a given - why would these juveniles then head north to Britain? © Joe Stockwell