31st May

Overnight wind and rain knocked down another small arrival around the island, although with sporadic dizzly rain persisting throughout the morning birding certainly wasn't easy going. The Bill area got the best of the coverage and came up with 11 Spotted Flycatchers, several 'extra' Whitethroats, 2 each of Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff and a single Sedge Warbler on the ground; a few small flocks of Swifts overhead looked more likely to be locals struggling with the weather rather than fresh migrants. Another couple of Spotted Flycatchers were at Southwell, whilst a flurry of waders at Ferrybridge included 35 Sanderling and 12 Dunlin. The fresh wind did precious little for the sea: 46 Common Scoter passing through off the Bill was a notable count of a species that's hitherto been severely under-represented this spring, but a few passing Manx Shearwaters were the only other worthwhile sightings.

Another single Bordered Straw at the Obs was the best of the overnight immigrant moths.

Although there are still a few tardy common migrants trickling through it's worth drawing attention to just how dreadful May has been for overall numbers. Today's very small arrival took the Obs garden month ringing total to 230, which compares mightily unfavourably with an average May total during the last four years of 736. One or two species have done OK - in taking the top two places Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher (54 and 32 respectively) fared well - but only four others managed a double figure total, with Willow Warbler and Whitethroat (on 27 and 18 respectively) doing conspicuously badly amongst many totals that make grim reading. Let's hope that these events reflect the vagaries of the weather rather than some sort of profound downturn in the fortunes of our summer visitors.