31th May

On a damp, foggy day the lingering Rosy Starling remained at the Bill throughout but commoner migrants were only very thinly spread, with 5 Reed Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, a Blackcap and a Spotted Flycatcher the only offerings at the Bill; elsewhere, a Hobby passed through at Reap Lane and a Nuthatch that dropped in briefly at a private garden at Weston was a major island rarity.

There's hardly a more characteristic sound of late May at Portland than the incessant chatter of a Reed Warbler from seemingly uncharacteristic arboreal habitat; we recorded this one a few days ago in the Obs garden but could just as easily have recorded another two or three there today:

Although the presence of males at least is easily ascertained actually seeing them in way adequately is often another matter entirely: one of today's males was entirely typical in spending literally the whole day high up within the dense Holm Oak clump in the front garden from where it could be constantly heard but rarely more than glimpsed - we must miss a host of silent females © Martin Cade:  

The odd single Painted Ladys have begun to be logged in recent days - this one was the first to make it into the Obs garden this year © Martin Cade:

And finally, we couldn't resist an off-island foray in the early hours for the Spotted Crake that had just been found singing at Lodmoor:

30th May

Although the breeze remained firmly in the east there was quite a change in the feel of the day today with showers at dawn, dreary skies throughout and fog rolling in during the afternoon. The Rosy Starling remained at the Bill where another Hawfinch dropped in and, best of all in local rarity terms, a Great White Egret passed over. Spotted Flycatchers were again downed in some numbers, with at least 20 scattered at the Bill where 3 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers and a Cuckoo were also new in on the ground; a few Swifts were still arriving overhead with a Little Egret also through at the Bill.

The overnight immigrant moth selection at the Obs was hardly varied but did include totals of 95 Diamond-back Moth and 12 Silver Y.

29th May

Any day with a Rosy Starling still in residence and two more seemingly passing straight through (the stayer was at the Bill whilst the fly-bys were at the Bill and Weston) as well as a Hawfinch pitching up briefly at the Obs certainly can't be moaned about, but there was a slight feeling of disappointment that the brisker easterly, overcast skies and rain showers either side of dawn didn't come up with something just that little bit better. Tardy migrants were maybe not quite as numerous as might have been hoped, with 6 each of Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher, and singles of Wheatear, Whinchat and Blackcap downed at the Bill, where 13 Dunlin and a Hobby passed through overhead amongst the light passage of hirundines and Swifts. A Great Northern Diver passed by on the sea at the Bill.

A small increase in immigrant moth numbers saw 44 Diamond-back Moth, 2 Silver Y and 1 Rusty-dot Pearl trapped overnight at the Obs; an Elusive Fanner Acrolepiopsis marcidella - a new moth for Portland - was as trapped there.

On the face of it, Elusive Fanner seems like a pretty unlikely addition to the island list: it's of very restricted range in the UK and in Dorset is confined to just a few sites in the southeast of the county; the foodplant - Butcher's-broom - evidently doesn't occur on Portland so last night's specimen is as good as certain to be a wind-blown stray or perhaps even an immigrant from the Continent © Martin Cade:

28th May

Yesterday's comment that it's now rarity season was more a simple statement of fact than something prophetic and so it came to pass today with first a Rosy Starling - probably just as likely a new individual than one of yesterday's birds - and then a Black-headed Bunting turning up at the Bill; the Rosy Starling performed on and off all day between the Bill lighthouse and the QinetiQ compound whilst the Black-headed Bunting was eventually pinned down in Top Fields late in the afternoon after first being reported briefly (as an unidentified bird seen by an inexperienced birder) early in the morning near Wallsend. A Nightjar was also seen briefly at the Bill whilst commoner migrants there included 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 each of Wheatear and Spotted Flycatcher, and a single Reed Warbler; 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, an unseasonable Brent Goose and a Whimbrel were at Ferrybridge. Sea reports included 29 Common Scoter and singles of Whimbrel and Great Skua through off the Bill.

The Rosy Starling in the Bill Quarry © Keith Pritchard (stills) and Martin Cade (video)...

...and the Black-headed Bunting in Top Fields © Martin Cade:

27th May

Just as it was looking as though spring passage was more or less over for common migrants - a morning of mist-netting at the Obs had produced a blank for the first time this month and there was precious little to be found anywhere else at the Bill - so there was a timely reminder that it's now rarity season as 2 Rosy Starlings dropped in at the Bill; sadly, their stay in and around the QinetiQ compound was pretty brief and they were soon watched heading away to the north. The day's commoner migrant tally included 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and singles of Grey Wagtail and Sedge Warbler at the Bill, a Hobby through at Blacknor and 12 Dunlin, 6 Sanderling, 2 Shelduck and a Whimbrel at Ferrybridge.

There was hardly a sniff of increased immigrant moth activity following the overnight passing of a series of thunderstorms: 4 each of Diamond-back Moth and Silver Y, and 2 Rusty-dot Pearl were the only immigrants trapped at the Obs.

We kicked ourselves for missing out on ace views/photographs of the Rosy Starlings: on responding to Colin Thorne's phonecall we arrived to find the birds with a family party of Starlings right beside the Bill carpark; instead of grossing out on them we stupidly faffed about trying to phone out the news from a spot with a notoriously dodgy reception and on looking up saw the Rosys suddenly get up and fly off into the distance © Martin Cade: 

26th May

Although a brief Golden Oriole at the Bill stole the show from the rarity point of view it was Spotted Flycatcher that was again the day's feature bird, including a good 70 through or lingering at the Bill. Two brief Tree Sparrows also passed though at the Bill, whilst additional commoner migrants there included 5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and a Hobby; Swifts and hirundines dribbled through but in numbers well short of those logged on most recent days. Manx Shearwaters remained offshore in small numbers but an Arctic Skua was the only other noteworthy sea sighting at the Bill.

Overnight immigrant moth numbers at the Obs dwindled to just 2 Diamond-back Moths and a single Rusty-dot Pearl.

The Golden Oriole did one of their usual tricks of being watched dropping into one clump of trees before eventually slipping away fast and high - and only noticed in the nick of time - from a completely different spot © Ted Pressey: 

Spotted Flycatcher has very much bucked the trend and staged a strong showing this spring: 87 have been trapped and ringed to date at the Obs - a total more than double the average catch in the last few springs; 2013, with a total of 101 ringed, was our best spring ever but that year did include the remarkable events of 1st June when 1000 birds passed through at the Bill © Ted Pressey: 

25th May

In rapidly improving conditions migrant numbers dropped back to a more expected level today, with 15 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Reed Warblers and low single figure totals of a few other common migrants grounded at the Bill; wader numbers also dwindled, with 44 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin, 10 Sanderling and a Knot at Ferrybridge. Despite the clearing sky hirundines and Swifts didn't feature overhead in any quantity at all.

It was easily the busiest night of the year to date for moths, with 16 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Rusty-dot Pearl and 3 Silver Y making up the immigrant tally at the Obs; singles of Maiden's Blush and Orange Footman were strays of note there, with several additional Orange Footman trapped at other sites.

Skylarks enjoying the most benign of evenings at the Bill © Martin Cade: 

24th May


A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 26th May.

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As late May birding at Portland goes today represented just about as good as it gets without there being a rarity on offer. With heavy cloud cover for the duration and, at least for the morning, a brisk northeasterly breeze conditions were certainly favourable and migrants dropped in or passed through all day. Spotted Flycatchers were very conspicuous and included several waves of active migrants that passed straight through: 60 were logged at the Bill with limited coverage elsewhere suggesting that the all-island total was likely to have been up around the 150 mark. Hirundines and Swifts were also moving in strength, with a sample 2 hour count on West Cliffs returning totals of 174 Swallows, 65 Swifts and 59 House Martins; other totals at the Bill included 25 Willow Warblers, 10 each of Turnstone and Chiffchaff, 9 each of Whimbrel and Wheatear, 5 Whinchats, 4 each of Hobby and Chaffinch, 3 each of Redstart, Sedge Warbler and Blackcap, 2 each of Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler, and singles of Redshank, Short-eared Owl, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit. Waders at Ferrybridge included 48 Dunlin, 28 Ringed Plovers, 20 Sanderling, 5 Turnstones, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel. Milky visibility impacted on seawatching attempts that came up with 85 commic terns, 17 Common Scoter, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Great Skua off the Bill and 2 Arctic Skuas off Chesil.

Eleven Diamond-back Moths, 4 Silver Y and a Rusty-dot Pearl made up the overnight immigrant moth tally at the Obs.

Today's leaden sky was hardly ideal for attempting to photograph fly-by migrant Spotted Flycatchers - besides, the spectacle of loose groups of them zooming through really needs to be seen as it's happening to be fully appreciated © Martin Cade: 

23rd May

Under a much clearer sky both numbers and variety fizzled out today, with quality limited to an Osprey that passed over at Ferrybridge. Grounded migrants at the Bill included 10 Chiffchaffs, 9 Wheatears, 7 Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Turnstones, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Reed Warblers and a Common Sandpiper, with singles of Grey Heron and Yellow Wagtail overhead along with no more than a trickle of Swifts and hirundines; wader numbers continued to increase at Ferrybridge where there were 55 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plovers, 7 Turnstones and a Whimbrel. Despite the unpromising offshore breeze there were still a few birds moving offshore, including 9 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Arctic Skuas and singles of Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver through off the Bill.

A few more immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs included 8 Diamond-back Moth, 5 Silver Y and a Rusty-dot Pearl.

22nd May

Not that it perhaps should have come as that much of a surprise since the mix of a very brisk northerly and, at least for a while after dawn, decent cloud cover would have seemed like potential fall conditions anytime in the spring, but today came up with a pretty good flurry of tardy migrants. There was a perceivable sense of urgency to proceedings the Bill where hirundines and Swifts were racing through overhead and precious little of what pitched in on the ground lingered for long; the most thorough of the sample West Cliff counts returned 90 minute totals of 126 Swifts, 78 Swallows, 60 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins, whilst additional grounded and overhead totals there included 15 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 8 Wheatears, 5 Willow Warblers, 4 each of Barnacle Goose, Turnstone and Reed Warbler, 3 each of Hobby and Whinchat, 2 each of Purple Sandpiper, Redstart and Garden Warbler, and singles of Whimbrel, Ruff, Short-eared Owl, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap. Coverage elsewhere was very limited but included another Hobby through at Blacknor and a noticeable increase in waders at Ferrybridge where there were 39 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, a Sanderling and a Whimbrel. Seawatching wasn't really the order of the day in such a brisk offshore wind but odds and ends of interest from the Bill included yet another steady movement of Manx Shearwaters, 46 Common Scoter, 2 Dunlin and an Arctic Skua.

A very small increase in immigrant moth numbers saw 2 Diamond-back Moths, a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Silver Y trapped overnight at the Obs.

We're not really at all well up on raptor ageing but when we saw Keith's scorching photos of one of today's fly-by Hobbys we took it that on the basis of the scaly upperparts, pale-tipped upperwing coverts, really densely marked underwing and not very red 'trousers' it was - like many of the late arriving migrants that it's possible to age at this time of year - a first-summer bird (in the case of Hobby still wearing largely juvenile plumage that it won't finally fully moult out of until it returns to winter quarters in Africa later this year) © Keith Pritchard...

...we might have better comparison photos of what we presume to be an adult but for the time being these two of a bird at the Bill on 28th May 2014 will probably suffice © Martin Cade: 

Barnacle Geese are an often derided sight in Dorset but we wouldn't mind betting that the four overhead today were 'proper' migrants rather than plastics wandering from a feral population somewhere in southern Britain © Keith Pritchard: 

We're not sure whether this Raven on West Cliffs at the Bill this morning is the Guillemot egg stealer but if it is then it may have become even more of a nuisance - did it actually capture and kill this Kittiwake? © Keith Pritchard: 

21st May

A fly-by Bee-eater over the Obs around midday salvaged what had been looking to be another very lean day on the migrant front, with a handful of Chiffchaffs and singles of Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher providing the only interest on the ground at the Bill where hirundines and Swifts never really got going in the numbers that might have been expected on a hot, sunny day; singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel were the only waders of note at Ferrybridge. For the most part the sea was a source of frustration, with an obvious passage of terns taking place so far off the Bill as to be barely resolvable - 64 commic terns were logged, along with a single Great Northern Diver; later in the day another strong movement of Manx Shearwaters developed, with sample counts at various times of >1000 per hour through of the Bill and >400 per hour off Chesil.

Do Bee-eaters always call when they're high overhead? - if they don't then we must miss dozens of them. Today's bird - like so many others we've logged over the years - would never have been spotted if it hadn't been calling: it didn't descend lower than several hundred metres over the Obs and didn't give the slightest indication that it was going to linger so was gone within seconds © Martin Cade: 

It's been a great spring for Manx Shearwaters with another well into four figure movement this evening - the sea was so glassy calm off Chesil that they cast a distinct shadow as they were labouring through inches off the water with no wind to give them assistance © Martin Cade: 

Trips on the Fleet Explorer glass-bottomed boat are currently affording some excellent tern viewing - these Little Terns and Sandwich Tern were photographed from one of the trips last week © Paul Marsh: 

Whimbrel continue to linger at Ferrybridge - this one was there a couple of evenings ago, with it and/or others now present for over a fortnight © Martin cade: 

20th May

On the evidence of today the quest for the late spring rarity is going to be a bit of slog - or looking more positively, it certainly isn't going to be overlooked amongst a wealth of other migrants. The pick of what little did turn today were 2 Nightjars that - in a re-enactment of the Caprimulgus Petrel evenings of bygone times - lingered distantly off Chesil during the last hour of daylight. Five each of Wheatear and Chiffchaff and a lone Willow Warbler were the only new migrants on the ground at the Bill where a Grey Heron was an unexpected arrival in off the sea and a light trickle of Swifts and hirundines were still passing through; elsewhere, singles of Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat were at High Angle Battery. The only sea reports were of 64 Common Scoter, 7 Sandwich Terns, 5 commic terns and singles of Black-throated Diver and Arctic Skua through off the Bill.

19th May

A day with lots of merits - notably more glorious weather that could be enjoyed without the spoiler of the majority of the general public who'd en masse stayed indoors to watch the various national happenings on television - but migrant interest wasn't really one of them. The conditions were far too nice to have expected anything other than passing hirundines to be in quantity and 2 Redstarts, a Grey Heron and a Sedge Warbler at the Bill, a Spotted Flycatcher at Avalanche Road, a Yellow Wagtail at High Angle Battery and 3 Sanderlings and 2 Whimbrel at Ferrybridge were about as good as it got on the ground; hirundines and Swifts provided the day's numbers, with Swallows passing at more than 300/hour at times at the Bill.

One of this evening's Whimbrel at Ferrybridge © Martin Cade: 

18th May

On a day that at least until late afternoon had a good deal more cloud in the sky than expected hirundines made up the bulk of the numbers but there was also a varied selection of late migrants on the ground. The burgeoning Tree Sparrow group at the Bill increased to 3, whilst other grounded migrants there included 10 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 7 Redstarts, 4 Wheatears, 3 each of Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher, 2 each of Yellow Wagtail and Reed Warbler, and singles of Black Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and Bullfinch; waders at Ferrybridge included 10 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel. Hirundines and to a lesser extent Swifts were moving through in quantity, with a sample 25 minute count of 130 Swallows, 29 Swifts and 22 House Martins through along West Cliffs at the Bill certainly being representative of what looked to be a strong day-long passage. Seawatch reports included 70 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers and singles of Great Skua and Arctic Skua through off the Bill and 4 Arctic Skuas and a Great Northern Diver through off Chesil.

A Basking Shark was off Chesil during the morning.

We've never been quite sure why - shouldn't they be off breeding somewhere? - but May has always been the peak spring month for migrant/vagrant/wandering Tree Sparrows at Portland © Martin Cade: 

Now that the flock is up to three the Tree Sparrows have got quite noisy:

Tardy migrants continue to feature, including Wheatear, Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail at the Bill over the last couple of days © Martin Cade (Wheatear & Whinchat) and Erin Taylor (Yellow Wagtail): 

17th May

Lovely day, fewer migrants. A second Tree Sparrow that joined the lingering individual still about at the Bill was the only slightly out of the ordinary sighting, whilst the day's migrant tally was largely made up of passing Swifts and hirundines, with the former getting up to 146 through at the Bill; grounded totals at the Bill included 20 Willow Warblers, 10 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whinchats and singles of Hobby, Yellow Wagtail and Garden Warbler. Offshore, Manx Shearwaters staged another decent evening movement with c2500 passed through off the Bill but routine passage there consisted of little more than singles of Great Skua and Arctic Skua.

Swifts made up the bulk of today's migrant numbers © Keith Pritchard:

16th May

Today didn't disappoint on the migrant front with the decent cloud cover and brisk northeasterly dropping a steady flow of latecomers - enough to make it one of the best days of the month which was enjoyable enough on the one hand although a rather damning indictment of the numbers on offer over the last fortnight on the other. An Osprey over Blacknor and the lingering Tree Sparrow at the Bill were the only oddities putting in appearances but it was the numbers and movement that really entertained, with 500 Swallows, 200 House Martins, 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 40 Spotted Flycatchers, 30 each of Sand Martin and Willow Warbler, 15 Wheatears, 10 Chiffchaffs, 3 each of Garden Warbler and Blackcap, and singles of Hobby, Greenshank, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat logged around the south of the island.

You'd have thought that a grey-backed 'yellow' wagtail migrating high over the Bill in mid-May stood at least a chance of being Citrine but, sadly, our luck wasn't in and today's bird was no more than just a very unseasonable Grey Wagtail © Martin Cade: 

And back to the last few days for a bit of catching up. Common Blues and Dingy Skippers are both now on the wing - these two were at Bottomcombe on Tuesday © Ken Dolbear: 

And Nick Hopper popped us through a note on his last nocturnal recording visit on Saturday night (12th/13th May): singles of Greenshank, Whimbrel, Dunlin and Spotted Flycatcher were logged along with a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwits and single flocks of Common Tern and Arctic Tern; the oddity of the night was a Moorhen (it was a night when pretty well everything was distant, with the Moorhen just about the closest bird and even that recording had to considerably amplified - a 'record shot' recording!): 

15th May

On a warmer day than yesterday the breeze wasn't quiet so stiff and the migrant tally was correspondingly a little diminished. The Tree Sparrow was again knocking around at the Bill and, as befits the time of year, it was Spotted Flycatchers that were the most conspicuous new arrivals there, with 16 logged; Willow Warblers were actually slightly more numerous - 20 in total - but they and other tardy migrants are getting harder to census now that the trees are almost entirely leafy. Other arrivals at the Bill included 6 each of Wheatear and Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Redstarts and singles of Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Garden Warbler; a Nightingale at Reap Lane was easily the most noteworthy migrant elsewhere. Visible passage included a good showing from House Martins, together with a single Hobby through at the Bill. Despite the offshore breeze Manx Shearwaters staged another good evening movement when 312 were counted in a sample hour at the Bill, whilst 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Great Northern Divers and a single Great Skua passed by there at other times.

The Tree Sparrow - we're presuming that all the recent sightings relate to the same individual - finally gave itself up for a photograph © Erin Taylor...

...and Nick Hopper discovered that he'd got a recording of it calling after he'd left his nocturnal recording gear switched on well into Sunday morning:

The find of the day though came courtesy of Erin Taylor who stumbled upon several Common Twayblade orchids on the Slopes at the Bill; the orchid flora of Portland isn't exactly rich so even our woefully inadequate botanical knowledge extended to being unaware of any previous Portland records - a fact that's subsequently been confirmed by Ken Dolbear and Brian Edwards © Martin Cade: 

After being a notable absentee from the year list in 2017 it was nice to be able to add Nightingale to this year's tally; it remained resolutely invisible in its chosen elderberry patch beside the Reap Lane barn but at times it was blasting out some quite prolonged bursts of mainly half-hearted song (or at least it was trying to in the face of competition from a typical Portland soundscape of a combination of a pile driver, a helicopter and a whole bunch a noisy baby Starlings!):

Just as a lot of the other things that we're trying to get to grips with are getting increasingly furtive Spotted Flycatchers do at least have the rather agreeable habit of making themselves pretty obvious © Martin Cade: 

14th May

Another lovely sunny day with the brisk head-breeze dropping a small but varied selection of new arrivals at the Bill, including 25 Spotted Flycatchers, 13 Wheatears, 10 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 each of Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler, and singles of Yellow Wagtail and Redstart; visible passage was maybe not quite as strong as might have been hoped but did include a steady - up to 100/hour at times - throughput of Swallows, as well as a passing Hobby at Blacknor. Despite the unhelpful wind direction 2 each of Arctic Skua and Pomarine Skua, and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver passed by off the Bill.

13th May

A small improvement in the hitherto pretty grim migrant situation saw a reasonable scatter of mainly routine arrivals everywhere. The only quality came in the form of the Tree Sparrow still about at the Bill/Southwell and a Wood Warbler at Verne Common, but the list from the Bill area included 20 Wheatears, 15 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers, 4 Garden Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 2 each of Yellow Wagtail, Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, and singles of Little Egret, Greenshank, Black Redstart and Bullfinch. The breeze was always a little too far offshore for the sea, with the rewards from the Bill limited to 4 Arctic Skuas, a Great Northern Diver and a Pomarine Skua.

Today's Black Redstart © Nick Hopper: 

Wall Browns are now on the wing in good numbers © Ken Dolbear: 

Portland has a pretty rich bee fauna, with as many as 106 species listed for the island; amongst these, Brown-banded Carder Bees are on the wing in some numbers at the moment. This rare bumble bee was once widespread across lowland Britain but has undergone substantial declines during the second half of the 20th century, with modern day strongholds for the species now confined to Salisbury Plain, the coasts of southeast and southwest England and south Wales. This species needs a good flow of nectar throughout its flight period, with the well connected mosaics of dry, flower-rich grassland found at Portland helping to provide these requirements; the Observatory's blocks of flowering brassica-based Countryside Stewardship seed mixes are clearly attractive, with at least ten individuals nectaring in Helen's Fields yesterday additional information and photos © James Phillips: 

12th May

More cloud in the sky today but scarcely any improvement in migrant numbers. A Tree Sparrow that dropped in briefly at the Obs garden was a nice highlight amongst an otherwise poor list from the Bill area, where Wheatear and Chiffchaff both managed a half-dozen total and singles of Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Redpoll were of very minor note; there looked be something of a surge in Swallow numbers overhead but once again this went largely unquantified. Wader variety also perked up a little, with 9 Sanderling, a Whimbrel and a Greenshank amongst the commoner fare at Ferrybridge. What little breeze there was remained stubbornly offshore for longer than expected which restricted sea passage at the Bill to 47 Common Scoter, 7 Arctic Skuas, 4 Great Northern Divers, 2 Great Skuas and 2 Pomarine Skuas; later in the day another decent Manx Shearwater movement produced sample counts of up to 640 per hour.

11th May

In a brisk southeasterly the sea was watched almost for the duration but, sadly, failed to live up to the billing with totals for the Bill comprising 1787 Manx Shearwaters, 803 Gannets, 166 Kittiwakes, 123 Common Scoter, 57 commic terns, 13 Whimbrel, 7 Great Northern Divers, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Great Skuas and singles of Black-throated Diver, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Gull and Arctic Tern. The migration hiatus continued on the land where there were fewer new arrivals than on any day this week and only c100 Swallows arrived in off the sea at the Bill during one observer's nine hour seawatch; elsewhere, the Continental Coal Tit remained at Pennsylvania Castle and 3 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel were settled at Ferrybridge.

A Roe Deer was at Ferrybridge early in the morning.

Singles of Dark Sword Grass and Silver Y were the only immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs.

One of the day's Arctic Skuas © Joe Stockwell: 

One of the West Cliff Fulmars © Ted Pressey...

...and our current Public Enemy No 1: the Guillemot egg-stealing Raven © Ted Pressey: