17th May

Just as forecast, the best part of today was a complete wash-out (after more than an inch of rain had fallen by the late afternoon it was reported that Portland was the wettest place in Britain today). That said, there was plenty of interest on the land during slightly less wet spells early and late in the day, whilst waders put in a strong showing during the rain. The Golden Oriole remained at the Bill all day but more of a surprise there were the number of migrants that had dropped in, with negligible coverage in shocking conditions coming up with 9 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Wheatears and singles of Whimbrel, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Garden Warbler; elsewhere there was a Cuckoo at Bumpers Lane. The sea eventually got attention towards evening when 250 Manx Shearwaters passed through off the Bill. After the poor returns there in recent day there was a positive wader bonanza at Ferrybridge, including 140 Dunlin, 88 Turnstones, 27 Sanderling, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Knot.

A small party of Bottle-nosed Dolphin were lingering off the Bill during the evening.

Overnight mothing at the Obs saw the first 2 Delicates of the year trapped amongst a handful of commoner immigrants.

Despite enduring a soggy night - and with the prospect of an even soggier day in the offing - the Golden Oriole was in fine voice at dawn:

At anything other than a really local level Ferrybridge is pretty hopeless for waders but beggars can't be choosers and we have to admit to finding it magnificent in the rain this afternoon; bar the 2 Black-tailed Godwits there wasn't anything at all out of the ordinary there, but it had all the feel of the Broad-billed Sandpiper being just about to drop in - after 31 years the pain of missing the last one by minutes has been replaced by the anticipation of how great the next one's going to look! © Martin Cade: