3rd May

Once early rain had cleared through it was apparent that at least a few new migrants had managed to get through, with considerably more about than for several days; the sea also had its moments in an at times blustery south-westerly although fog was a frequent problem through the morning. Phylloscs have been steadily replaced by larger warblers when there have been drops on migrants in the last week and that trend continued today, with the Obs garden mist-nets returning totals of 9 phylloscs (8 of which were Willow Warblers), as against 29 other warblers (including 12 Garden Warblers); in the stiff wind birding on the land wasn't easy and there were no reports of anything particularly out of the ordinary amongst the light spread of arrivals everywhere, although 3 Purple Sandpipers at the Bill were the first there for more than a month and were likely pausing migrants. The list from the seawatchers had a more respectable look than of late, with 8 Great Skuas and 4 each of Arctic and Pomarine Skua through off the Bill and 5 Great Skuas and a Pomarine Skua off Chesil; back-ups weren't at all plentiful, with nothing in numbers off the Bill bar 200 or more Manx Shearwaters, 80 commic terns and a steady although not fully quantified passage of Kittiwakes (the first real numbers of the latter so far this spring).


Manx Shearwater, Purple Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Yellow Wagtail - Portland Bill and Ferrybridge, 3rd May 2015 © Martin Cade (Manx and Purple Sand) and Pete Saunders (Whimbrel and Yellow Wagtail)