20th May

Birding was hard work today on what was another gloriously sunny day - the warmest of the year to date - but there were one or two rewards to be had. A Honey Buzzard through over Easton stole the show, with a Corn Bunting at the Obs and later at Reap Lane trailing a rather distant second. Commoner migrants were as thinly spread as in recent days, with 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Reed Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher as good as it got around the centre and south of the island where visible passage was strangely subdued, with very few hirundines making the most of what looked to be ideal migration conditions. A single passing Great Skua was the only seabird of note off the Bill.

Today's Honey Buzzard over Easton - a fine specimen of one of the very best scarce migrants © Mark Litjens:

There was a faintly amusing incident early today that could so easily have ended in tears: dawn's so early these days and the supply of migrants has dwindled so much that we're no longer bothering with getting up literally at day-break to open the nets at the Obs; however, the nocmig recorder is still running at this time and on going through the recording later we discovered that there was a Corn Bunting singing really close by for 15 minutes at 5am - by the time we were up half-an-hour later it was long gone! It's a nice record as it's the first this year but we were left feeling a great sense of relief that it hadn't been something a lot better like a Cretzschmar's Bunting!

Whilst on the subject of sounds, a few days ago we mentioned the nocmig Dotterel and alluded to a few other decent records during that period in late April/early May; of these, the best were three loggings of Stone Curlew: the first was during the evening of 26th April whilst the other two were on the night of 2nd/3rd May - although more than three hours apart we'd have an inkling from the similarity of the calls that these last two loggings refer to the same individual that perhaps pitched in nearby before resuming migration later in the night.