Wind speeds topping thirty miles an hour are making birding difficult with the birds skulking through the wind battered vegetation. But it is clear that stuff is still moving and reasonable numbers of Willow Warblers and Whitethroats were logged this morning. Scarcer migrants included a Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat and a male flavissima Yellow Wagtail. The first Cuckoo and Swifts of the spring have also been noted in the last couple of days. More conspicuous are the hundreds of Wheatear, predominantly leucorhoa, moving through the island and the Swallows and House Martins passing over. Waders are starting to move through and over 60 Whimbrel are present today, including a smart leucistic bird. Considering the thousands of Bar-tailed Godwits being recorded at some coastal sites at the moment, the two birds hanging around with the Whimbrel suggest that we aren't on the main flightpath of this particular species. Dunlin numbers hover in the high teens and we managed to dazzle three birds last night.
Whimbrels feeding among the Spring Squill on the South End. The leucistic bird appeared over night and, as might be expected, seems even more wary than is typical of these twitchy Numenius. (c) Richard Brown