18th May


A reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Sunday, 22nd May.

The topsy-turvy conditions of recent days continued with a fierce and extremely noisy swell - presumably generated by a distant Atlantic depression - dominating proceedings on what was otherwise for the most part a day of benign warm and clear skies until heavy showers rolled in again from the south during the evening. Migrant-wise, events were hardly compelling with singles of Hobby and Jay the pick of the limited selection on the ground and overhead at the Bill; waders were also inexplicably largely absent, with no more than 3 Dunlin and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge. A lingering Balearic Shearwater off the Bill was likely/hopefully an indication of things to come through the summer months, whilst 4 passing Arctic Skuas provided the day's only signs of the last knockings of spring sea passage (the majority of the day's 35 Common Scoter were heading west which suggested the joys of an imminent breeding season wasn't really on their minds).

At a national level, the recent episode of moth immigration has been extremely interesting: the likes of the Striped Hawkmoth and Cosmopolitan that graced the Obs moth-traps this morning (along with the season's first Rush Veneer and Delicate) weren't a huge surprise since these are the sort of scarcities that turn up in May given appropriate conditions, but hearing of the likes of Vagrant China-mark Diasemiopsis ramburialis and Vestal - both usually summer or autumn moths in Britain - being trapped elsewhere suggests that this is a more varied event that could just be the portent of a rewarding immigrant season © Martin Cade: