8th May

What a difference a day makes: in broadly similar conditions to yesterday - the light breeze a tad more easterly than northerly but the sky just as clear at dawn - today's rewards were scant indeed. A Nightingale in song at the Obs may or may not have been yesterday's individual and the species mix was still pretty good but today's numbers - aside from the 200 or so arriving Swallows - were reduced to barely more than ones and twos rather than the tens and dozens of yesterday; a Marsh Harrier in off the sea at the Bill and a passing Bullfinch at the Obs were the day's only other oddities. It might have been thought that conditions favoured the sea, but 80 commic terns, 66 Common Scoter, 14 Black-headed Gulls, 9 Shelducks, 3 Great Northern Divers and singles of Black-throated Diver and Little Gull wasn't the best of returns from a good deal of effort at the Bill. 

Today was a day of sounds rather than sights. The nocmig recorder revealed that the Obs garden Nightingale begun singing at 04.25 - a good 15 minutes before the dawn chorus begun in earnest; whether it was yesterday's individual was never established because it was never actually seen or retrapped but it does seem slightly odd that if it was the same bird it didn't sing yesterday evening:

The nocmig recorder also picked up an overflying Coot before midnight; in our early nocmig days it was a revelation that Coots were so relatively frequent overhead during the hours of darkness but that situation has changed and we drew a blank last year and last night's bird was the first logged this year:

Bullfinch is never a frequent migrant at the Bill and - as with the Hawfinch a few days ago - we wonder why one would pitch up in early May; this morning's bird was calling constantly in the few minutes it was present: