15th May

After a night of light rain and with a decent headwind blowing at dawn a tad more was expected of today than actually materialised; that said, any day with a Hawfinch as the highlight is a pretty decent day. The Hawfinch made an utterly unexpected appearance in the Obs garden long after the apparently promising conditions had evaporated; earlier, a steady passage of 17 Spotted Flycatchers - most moving straight through - had provided the bulk of the numbers among a thinnish selection of other routine arrivals at the Bill that also included 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 Hobbys. Another passing Great Northern Diver was the pick of what little was on the move offshore.

History's shown us so often that you just never know what'll pop up out of the blue on a migration headland like Portland and today it was this Hawfinch found right at the end of the afternoon in the bottom panel of a mist-net that was about to be closed after having been open for nearly 11 hours; with not a hint of untoward happenings afoot and in utterly benign conditions you have to wonder what on earth this bird was up to - where had it come from, where was it heading and, being an adult male, why wasn't it ensconced breeding somewhere © Martin Cade: