Monday 14th September comments: The westerly winds have finally eased and today bird migration picked up as a result. Early morning brought hundreds of Meadow Pipits, Swallows, House and Sand Martins on the move as the recent winds will have been blocking their progress south. However the Isle of May can produce a surprise or two and today it came in the form of a stunning male Red-breasted Flycatcher.
Red-breasted Flycatchers are scarce visitors from the continent (they breed from Sweden and eastern Germany across to the South Caspian). The island is well placed for them having recorded them annually in recent years. However most are juveniles or females and the sight of a male is rare; this was the first to be recorded in this plumage since 2016.
Our star-studded guest is taking advantage of the insects of the island although the resident Robins have taken a disliking to it as they set up their winter territories. With the winds swinging to the east, this might be the start of another purple patch…you have been warned.