21st May

In most routine spring migration seasons passerine passage is all but over by mid-May but from time to time a late season sees movement continue for a fortnight or more after this and so it's proving this year. Today's arrival around the south of the island was less about the conspicuous visible passage of recent days and more about a seemingly constant throughput of tardy newcomers that dropped in but were clearly eager to get elsewhere as quickly as possible. Totals from the Bill included 26 Spotted Flycatchers, 20 Willow Warblers and singles figure totals of Redshank, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff; there was overhead passage of Swifts and hirundines but they were fewer than in recent days. Further up island there were aggregations of Spotted Flycatchers in particular - including 20 at Tilleycombe - whilst a Dartford Warbler was a very unseasonable find near High Angle Battery and a Hobby passed through at Barleycrates Lane; a welcome if small increase in waders saw totals of 31 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, 4 Sanderling and 3 Turnstones accumulate by the evening. Offshore passage was very light but did include 120 Manx Shearwaters and 3 more Great Northern Divers through off the Bill where a passing Little Tern was the first this spring away from Chesil/Portland Harbour.

If our very cursory explorations away from the Bill were anything to go by it wouldn't surprise us if the island tally of Spotted Flycatchers wasn't up towards three figures today © Martin Cade:

Not before time there was the most modest of increases in small wader numbers today, including these three of four Sanderlings at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders: