17th May

 Well its been a day worthy of its own blog post! I don't think any of us could have predicted todays events if we'd tried. Where to start! 

With lunchtime fast approaching very little had been seen apart from a drake Goosander shooting down the West side and a Greenshank at Cauldhaim. However the day moved into gear with a very smart male Bluethroat and accompanying male Black Redstart at Lurand, it was then time to head out again. Two Red-backed Shrikes at Brigg and another near Quoybanks kicked off an afternoon that saw no fewer than 18 found around the island! One a Trebb followed the first three before another three were found around the obs, one in Holland, two at Bewan and other singles dotted about saw us smash the previous day record, but this wasn't even the main highlight! If you read yesterdays highlights a Nightingale sp. had been heard singing around the Surgery, as we went to bed last night there was a feeling, especially from the finder, that a Thrush Nightingale and slipped through our fingers. However an afternoon netting session in Ancum Willows turned up the goods, bundling home our first Thrush Nightingale since 2016 and putting a real shine on what was already a superb afternoon of birding. Elsewhere on the island a Cuckoo spent the day annoying the local Meadow Pipits around South Gravity and general sprinkling of Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Willows Warblers and Blackcaps filled in the gaps between Shrikes! A trio of Curlew Sandpipers were on Ancum in the evening and a female Ring Ouzel at Holland was a welcome surprise. 

This Spring has been unusually good, it's often a time of year that we can be left frustrated here with a general lack of visibility from the air to passing migrants, it almost feels like a throwback to the stories of huge falls that an older generation of island birders whisper about and we can only dream of. Hopefully this spring continues to produce good birds and encouraging numbers! For what it's worth the year list is sat twelve species behind what it was on at the end of June last year so there is huge sense of optimism that we can come close to last years total! Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself but after days like today it can be hard not too! 

                                                                  Thrush Nightingale - GG
                                                               Red-spotted Bluethroat - GG
                                                                              Cuckoo - GG
                                                                Red-backed Shrike (F) - GG
                                                                Red-backed Shrike (M) - GG