16th June

The fine, warm weather continued and there were precious few signs that the summer rarity was about to pop up. Two new Chiffchaffs at the Obs looked to be early departers as were the light trickle of Swifts and single House Martin heading out to sea overhead. Two each of Sanderling and Dunlin made up the migrant wader tally at Ferrybridge, where 2 Shelducks also dropped in. The only other reports were of 10 Manx Shearwaters through off the Bill and a lone Gannet in Portland Harbour.

Usually at this time of year we have a quick look back at how common migrants fared during the spring and, as before, it's easiest to gauge this by way of the Obs ringing totals that are based on a pretty consistent effort from one year to the next; these totals - together with comparison figures for 2010-16 and the mean for that period - were as follows:

As we'd drawn attention to earlier, it's immediately obvious that Willow Warbler was the big winner this spring with a total nearly twice as high as the recent spring average; in fact, their total wasn't far off equalling the all-time record for a whole year (which stands at 2113 in 2012). For our other regulars it really wasn't too bad a season: both Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were more than a third down on their recent averages (...this perhaps didn't come as a surprise given that both had very poor years in 2016) and the two 'crests didn't recover after their indifferent showings last autumn, but everything else was hovering either side of average.

Sanderling and Shelducks at Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders:

...a Gannet off the Bill © Martin Cade:

...and a Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria at Bottomcombe © Ken Dolbear: