Bluethroat Bonanza

Sunday 19th May comments: Blue is the colour. The Isle of May is well known as a migrant hotspot with birds turning up from all parts of the globe (last year we welcomed birds from as far away as the USA and Siberia). Well this weekend we’ve had easterly winds (favourable for bringing birds to the island at this time of year) and it didn’t disappoint…we had a boat full of birds.

From all the birds which did arrive we were dominated by one species; the Bluethroat, a scarce migrant from the near continent. On Friday we welcomed three to the island but by Saturday afternoon this had increased to an impressive 12 (yes TWELVE) and today we’ve got 14 (FOURTEEN). This impressive showing was just a combination of favourable winds (easterly winds) and time of year (when Bluethroats are migrating).

Although 14 is impressive, it is still some way short of the Isle of May record as we had 25 on 23rd May 1987 but an incredible 100 on 14th-15th May 1985. However those days are long gone and 14 is as good as we’ve seen in recent decades. As well as Bluethroats we’ve also welcomed a variety of other birds including Cuckoo, Wood Warbler, several Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, 8 Redstarts and double figure counts of Lesser Whitethroats and others. It’s been a lively weekend and this is without even mentioning all our seabirds. So whatever next?

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