7th May

It was a lovely sunny day to be out birding but unfortunately yesterday afternoon's fog had persisted throughout the night and still didn't clear until a while after dawn which saw to it that most nocturnal migrants likely passed high overhead without ever being aware of the island's existence. It wasn't entirely bereft on the ground, with a Wood Warbler at Broadcroft and a Corn Bunting at the Bill the clear highlights; a late Firecrest was also unexpected at the Bill, where the lingering singles of Grasshopper Warbler and Pied Flycatcher were of further note amongst the thin scatter of newcomers. If diurnal passage was anything to go by then it would surely have been a lot busier on the ground were it not for the blanket of fog, since Swallows were streaming through no sooner had it cleared and continued to do so right on into the evening; several Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits passed over amongst the hirundines and a Hobby arrived over Chesil. The sea required long watches to accrue any sort of totals, but eventually 4 Great Northern Divers, 4 Eider and singles of Pomarine and Arctic Skuas off the Bill and singles of Great Northern Diver and Arctic Skua off Chesil were accumulated amongst the more routine movers that included a total of 300 Gannets off the Bill that in the context of this spring was very respectable.

A Vagrant Emperor was on the wing at Tout Quarry.

What started off a routine long-range view of a passing Pom Skua this evening...

...suddenly went a bit mad as we hadn't appreciated how many gulls it was flushing as we were following it with the camera - this was the last view we had of it before the frame was suddenly filled with many hundreds of the 3000 or so gulls that were offshore that had all lifted up in uttter panic! © Martin Cade: