5th May

Another day that looked to have bags of potential but failed to deliver any numbers of grounded or visible migrants; fortunately a couple of scarcities and an at least fair seawatch went some way toward saving the day. Yesterday's Hawfinch remained at the Obs for a while during the morning and later at least 1 perhaps 2 Wood Warblers showed up there. A couple of Garden Warblers and singles of HobbyWhinchat and Spotted Flycatcher were about as good as it got amongst the thinnest of spreads of commoner grounded arrivals and almost non-existent overhead passage. The sea made a valiant attempt to salvage further interest although even that required a lot of watching for any really worthwhile totals, that included 306 commic terns, 17 Sanderlings, 2 Great Crested Grebes and singles of Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua and Black Tern through off Chesil and 3 Great Northern Divers, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Pomarine Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Skua through off the Bill.

Red sky in the morning... There seems to have been a lot of these just lately and in general they've been a fair guide to the day's prospects. Today? - maybe slightly less so © Joe Stockwell:

Wood Warbler is so often a spring 'rain bird' at Portland and today's occurrence fitted that billing yet again: the damp, drizzly morning had looked promising for one but didn't deliver; however, no sooner were the Obs mist-nets reopened after a heavier downpour at midday than this was the first bird trapped © Martin Cade:

Rain's also good for grounding newly-arrived Hobbys © Pete Saunders:

There's plenty of time left before we have thoughts of one of our late spring Spotted Flycatcher rushes being on the cards but they're certainly quite slow to get going this year © Pete Saunders:

Classic Chesil views of an Arctic Skua about to take the short cut over the beach and Portland Harbour © Joe Stockwell

And back to yesterday for something we completely forgot to post: Jon Stokes sent us through this little scene-setting video of a Nightingale giving some bursts of song from a garden hedge right beside busy High Street in Fortuneswell - migrants really can drop into some most unlikely spots © Jon Stokes: