22nd May

With a stiff headwind and intermittent cloud lapping the coast after a very clear night the stage was always set for a bit of late movement today but the logjam of migrants delayed by the hitherto cool spring - and perhaps also the recent turbulent conditions further south? - was clearly greater than we'd imagined and the blistering migration event that unfolded as dawn broke caught everyone out. Big Spotted Flycatchers movements aren't frequent events here so the spectacle of 282 through at the Bill - a total only exceeded by the likely once in a lifetime tsunami of 1000 on 1st June 2013 - was lapped up by the few observers in the field; Swifts staged a strong showing with 502 through that, together with the c100 each of Swallow and House Martin and other odds and ends including 29 Wood Pigeons, a few Tree Pipits and Yellow Wagtails and a lone Siskin, ensured that for the first few hours of the day overflying migrants were a constant feature. In many respects events on the ground were overshadowed by what was going on overhead and almost escaped attention were it not for the Obs garden and Culverwell mist-nets tapping into a constant flow of tardy warblers that included 50 Willow Warblers, 25 Blackcaps, 15 Reed Warblers, 10 Whitethroats and a few Sedge Warblers, Garden Warblers and Chiffchaffs. The sea was well-watched but produced little more than 37 Common Scoter and 4 Great Northern Divers. Wader numbers remained less than impressive but did include the year's first Little Stint at Ferrybridge.

Whilst our occasional huge falls of warblers and other terrestrial trans-Saharan migrants always includes a component of visible movement - particularly along West Cliffs - this is usually confined to low-level 'bush-hopping' so to be able to watch quantities of Spotted Flycatchers passing straight through at tree-top height is always a compelling spectacle...

...and when they're mingled amongst a strong passage of equally low Swifts and hirundines it's all the more impressive © Martin Cade:

This evening's Little Stint - some salvation during what's so far proving to be a dire late spring for waders at Ferrybridge © Martin Cade: