9th May

Another measly migrant tally today with new arrivals few and far between. A Cuckoo singing at East Weare and the long-staying Turtle Dove at Southwell provided a modicum of quality. Other than passing Swallows that weren't exactly numerous, 10 Turnstones that dropped in at the Bill tip constituted the only double-figure migrant total; Spotted Flycatcher nearly made a double-figure total over the island as a whole but most other species were represented by just singletons. The sea too was quiet with little more than 3 Arctic Skuas and 2 Red-throated Divers by way of conventional passage off the Bill; a trickle of Manx Shearwaters and a noticeable inbound movement of more than 100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also worth a mention from there.

We were joined on the night of 6th/7th May by Nick Hopper whose nocturnal recordings included a rare event in the form of a passing Black Tern; also logged a Moorhen, a Sandwich Tern, a Turnstone, two flocks of Whimbrels, 12 flocks of Dunlin, three flocks of Ringed Plovers and 2 Common Sandpipers

Nick tells us that as far as he's aware the Black Tern is the first sound-recorded at night in the UK:

A clear night wouldn't be complete without a Moorhen and one duly obliged; Moorhens have been really frequent at night this spring which has made us wonder if this mightn't be related to the long-term residence of one at Culverwell - could some of the loggings refer to this bird making some sort of nocturnal 'display' flights attempting to attract a mate?: