29th May

Just as we were planning a blog-opening sentence that made light of the ignominy of having to elevate a flock of Mute Swans to poll position in the evening round-up so our blushes were saved by a Red-breasted Flycatcher that dropping in at the Obs during the afternoon. The day's events were otherwise a long way toward the less than compelling end of the spectrum, with a late Purple Sandpiper and 10 Sanderling at Ferrybridge and 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Willow Warblers and a Yellow Wagtail at the Bill the best of the grounded migrants.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher was far from obliging - during its seemingly brief visit to the Obs garden it was seen by just one observer and heard by two others - but at times it was quite vocal as it lurked deep inside the cover of the front garden. This little recording begins with a series of the characteristic Wren-like rattles before the bird swaps to the completely different squeaky 'lost-chick' call:

On a day when the UK bird observatory network was knee-deep in Greenish Warblers we were rather relishing the prospect of getting to the evening and having to find a way of talking up our largest flock of Mute Swans in recent memory © Martin Cade