13th May

Although it's beginning to get late in the season for sizeable falls we do get the impression that there are a fair few migrants still to arrive, with today's happenings doing nothing to dispel that belief. A series of showers either side of dawn were more than enough to drop a steady arrival of birds, with many leaping off pretty sharpish once the weather improved. As might be expected, Spotted Flycatchers dominated, with more than 50 at the Bill and plenty more scattered throughout the middle of the island; Willow Warbler approached the same total at the Bill, where 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Sandpiper and a Redstart were amongst the variety of other largely routine fare on offer. Visible passage took a while to get going, but either side of midday Swallows in particular were passing at rates well into the low hundreds per hour. With the easing breeze shifting toward the north-west there hadn't been a lot of hope for the sea, but salvation came in the form of what will likely prove to be the best day of the spring for Great Northern Divers: 15 passed through off the Bill (in fact one peeled off and took the overland route right over the Obs), whilst an additional single opted for the short-cut over Ferrybridge.

Spotted Flycatchers, Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart - Portland Bill, 13th May 2014 © Martin Cade