12th May

A day of moderates; moderate cloud, moderate wind, moderate success and moderate failure. The onset of a North-easterly on Portland at this stage of the spring meant a team effort to cover the key areas before the skies cleared. This early morning romp produced both the biggest excitement and disappointment of the morning with a bird passing overhead calling in a most unusual way (somewhat akin to a wheezy panting dog), too small and pointed winged to be a Woodcock and too large and pot-bellied to be a Common Snipe the bird was an excellent candidate for Great Snipe. However, with none of the key plumage characteristics noted with the bird flying directly into the sun it is likely that the record cannot be taken further. 

Passage up the West Cliffs produced some much happier conclusions with a good movement of Swifts amassing to well over 150 for the day, large numbers of Swallows and House Martins being followed by a pair of Hobbys and three Yellow Wagtails consisting of a pair of flavissima and one Blue-headed Wagtail. Elsewhere, Whinchats reached double figures for the first time in over a week, Spotted Flycatchers continued to move in reasonable numbers accompanied by singles of Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. The sea produced little in the way of interest with just a Dunlin, three Great Northern Divers and a pair of Arctic Skuas

The night of 10th/11th May saw Nick Hopper joining us once again recording two Spotted Flycatchers, two flocks of Common Terns (plus a presumed singleton), two Turnstones, a Whimbrel and four flocks of Dunlin

The lone Pied Flycatcher in Southwell © Nick Santiford:

The one that got away...?© Erin Taylor: