13th June

Wow, what a difference a waft of easterly makes. Outwardly, there was little change in the weather with a beautiful blue sky and warm sunshine from the outset, but those with a feel for possibilities had noted the evident shift in what little breeze there was and it didn't take too long before the hearing of an unfamiliar call led to the discovery of a Common Rosefinch in the Obs garden; it duly begun to sing pretty heartily before suddenly upping and heading away north. The next discovery came solely from perseverance with the Obs garden mist-nets: after a morning and most of an afternoon with literally not a single capture what should pop up completely of the blue towards teatime but a Red-breasted Flycatcher. It proved to be an in-hand only bird that couldn't be found after release but searching for it uncovered the day's most frustrating arrival, a Hippolais warbler lurking high in tree tops of the Obs front garden; whilst clearly a Melodious or Icterine the views were almost all extremely brief and from directly underneath and, although Melodious was strongly suspected, it defied conclusive identification. Further unseasonable arrivals at the Bill included singles of Yellow Wagtail, Mistle Thrush and Siskin, whilst a Little Egret also arrived from the south.

Once it got going the Common Rosefinch was in good voice (although to hear the recording you'll have to wait until tomorrow when we're less weary from gawping into treetops for several hours trying to clinch a Melodious Warbler!) © Martin Cade:

In keeping with all previous June Red-breasted Flycatchers at the Obs, today's bird was in really ragged first-summer plumage, with tiny pale tips just about visible in the greater coverts and two generations of tail feathers © Martin Cade:

A couple of glimpses of the Hippolais; we'll scrutinize again our other photos that appear to mostly show just random unhelpful bits of it in case there is something that could be relied on for an ID © Martin Cade:

There's been a really heartening development in the seabird colony at the Bill with the first evidence of Kittiwake breeding activity for several years. We'd mentioned a while ago just how many birds have been lingering offshore but some are now settling on the ledges and it looks like nests are being built on the invisible section of cliffs under the QinetiQ compound © Pete Saunders:

A fascinating piece of evidence for where these new arrivals might have originated from comes from a colour-ring sighting yesterday: this individual was ringed as a nestling on 30th July 2019 in a colony at Point du Raz, Brittany, France © John Hansford:

Pointe du Raz looks to be a picturesque location © Wikipedia Commons: