Friday 24 May 2013

Eastern delights

The easterly airflow earlier in the week didn’t disappoint and there was a real flavour of the east. Around 100 Red-backed Shrikes were found, along with at least 15 Red-spotted Bluethroats and a handful of Ortolan Buntings. Other highlights included a Citirine Wagtail on the Outer Hebrides, a Paddyfield Warbler on Orkney and a Lesser Grey Shrike in Northumberland. Even with this supporting cast no-one could have foretold the finding of Britain’s first ever spring Dusky Thrush, found in the cemetery in Margate, Kent, an event which attracted over one thousand birders the day after its discovery.

Bluethroat by Edmund Fellowes

As the winds turned to the north-west mid-week, so did the attention and an impressive movement of Long-tailed Skuas began, an amazing 1,125 passed Aird an Runair, Outer Hebrides in two-and-a-half hours on the 22nd.

BirdTrack reporting rate for Spotted Flycatcher

On the common migrants front, Spotted Flycatcher, Swift and House Martin are still below the norm for this time of the year, as shown by the BirdTrack reporting rate. However, with warmer weather and lighter winds forecast for next week maybe we will see them catch-up.
With that in mind, next week could see the arrival of more overshooting migrants from the south and east, with Monday/Tuesday looking the best time for this. A showy Calandra Lark would fit the bill nicely.

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