3rd May

In an increasingly blasting easterly today was a shocker for grounded arrivals although judging by the number of Swallows passing through by day the nocturnal migrants would have been moving in quantity as well but under such a clear night sky just didn't have any reason to stop. Two Yellow Wagtails and a lone Pied Flycatcher provided the only interest amongst the tiny number of arrivals around the south of the island. Visible passage was far stronger although, sadly, remained largely unquantified where it was strongest on West Cliffs; elsewhere a Marsh Harrier passed over at Wakeham and reports were received of a Merlin and a Golden Oriole passing over at the Bill. The sea always held promise without really delivering: a mini surge in Common Scoters - 127 passed the Bill - was only accompanied by the likes of 11 Sanderling, 6 Whimbrel, 5 Arctic Skuas and 3 Red-throated Divers.

We don't very often handle 'brown' male Pied Flycatchers so today's bird in first-summer plumage was good to have a close look at; even odder than its plumage was the method of its capture: on a morning with practically nothing in the Obs garden stalwart chat-catcher Glen Thomas was attempting to salvage something from a barren day with his spring-traps across the road in the Crown Estate Field and this was the only bird caught - we have no clue what it was up to out on the bare-earth strips in the middle of the field in the teeth of a gale when the shelter of the well-vegetated Obs garden was only 100 metres away! © Martin Cade: