2015 review: April and May; Success in the rain
And a week there in mid-May duly delivered. Migrant numbers were not anything other than below average, although towards the end of the week Swifts and Swallows built up to form spectacular feeding flocks over the pits in the increasingly unsettled weather. The rain also encouraged two adult White-winged Black Terns (above) to settle on Burrowes for a two-day stay. Much time was spent watching them, often at close quarters. Better still was a self-found adult Bonaparte's Gull that only stayed on Burrowes for a few minutes on the evening of May 16th. Poor photo opportunity follows:
At quite a distance, the bridge camera proved its worth in managing to obtain a record shot, enough to prove that I was not hallucinating! Before I could do anything about getting other observers onto the bird it disappeared, and was not seen again (unless this was the same bird that then turned up at Oare Marshes shortly afterwards). A build up in Hobby numbers culminated in a loose feeding flock of 22 over the Boulderwall/Water Tower Pits area on the early afternoon of the 17th. Some sight.
There was a hint that a few migrant moths were on the move, as a Ni Moth (above, my first ever) was recorded at the observatory MV. The month ended back in Surrey, with birding entering the doldrums and moth numbers still depressed. But something was starting to stir and blossom forth. Unknowingly I was just a short time away from an unforgettable event...