The winds were from the north east and the rain fell on Thursday and Friday. There was no field work. By the evening the rain had stopped. Mark came in to say he’d seen a Bluethroat on the south of the Island.
Bluethroats are small birds that are not so distantly related to Robins. They breed in Scandinavia. They do not breed in Britain but they are a scarce spring migrant along the east coast. The Isle of May sees this species almost annually. The males have a lovely ‘cornflower blue’ throat with a red spot in the middle.
I missed the bird that Mark saw but on Saturday morning I was going over to pick the luggage up for the Bird Observatory. I saw a plump bird with a short tail and a strong facial pattern jump out of a ditch. A Bluethroat! The bird ran around feeding quickly and was very difficult to photograph. It flew away towards the main light and disappeared. I proceeded to go down to the Lowlightlight and when I got to Horse Hole and the same happened. Another female Bluethroat! And I had not even got off the quadbike!
Later in the evening I was escorting our new volunteer Lucie to the Lighthouse . On our way back I found a female Red-backed Shrike. Another scarce migrant to the east coast. We enjoyed watching the bird catching flies and flying from stalk to stalk. Then the ringers caught it.