Spotted Flycatcher (left) and Tree Pipit (right)
Fieldfare (left) and Willow Warbler (right)
Monday 17th May comments: As many of you will know it’s been a cold start to spring (remember those blustery cold days in April when temperature dropped to below freezing?) As a result bird migration has been slow (anyone notice the lack of House Martins?) it’s been a struggle for many of our summer migrants.
However gradually things have been improving and last week we had a series of southeasterly winds which helped encourage migration from the south with the arrival of several species across the Island. The most noticeable came in the form of Common Whitethroat, a species which breeds across the U.K. but winters in sub-Saharan Africa. On Thursday a total of 37 were counted, the highest island count for almost two decades. Other species on the move and caught up with the ‘fall’ included 27 Willow Warblers, 4 Sedge Warblers, 6 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warblers amongst many other species. For full details check out the Isle of May Bird Observatory website with bird totals: https://isleofmaybirdobs.org/bird-news/
As well as incoming migrants, the very tail end of winter was evident as Fieldfare, Redwing and even a very late Woodcock were seen as they head north to Scandinavia for the summer. As always the island attracted some more unusual birds, including a male Quail which showed well on its way to the U.K. to breed, an Osprey flew north on 11th May and an adult Cuckoo graced itself with its presence. The Isle of May is never dull and it continues to amaze as it has everything from spectacular wildlife to interesting history.