Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Meopta and Forest Optic best find – May
May turned out to be a mega month for good birds. I’m not sure that there was anything found that will ultimately challenge for the top spot when we come to cast our votes for the best find at the end of the year – however, the sheer numbers of good birds reported were way beyond anything we’ve encountered so far!
Standard May scarcities were the order of the month, with good numbers of red-backed shrike and common rosefinch reported. With good numbers of the commoner ‘scarcities’ there was always going to be the odd rarer bird turning up, PWC contestants scoring, among others, 4 woodchat shrike, and multiple red-breasted flycatcher, short-toed lark, and golden oriole, along with a subalpine warbler and bluethroat.
Several BB rares were reported, although it’s not clear how many of there were finds for PWC contestants. Rob Frays thrush nightingale, at Virkie, Shetland, definitely was and as such, at the moment, will be put forward for the final shortlist. Other BBs reported were a Black-winged stilt at Maldon, Essex (not a PWC find) a Bonaparte’s gull at Dawlish warren, Devon, and a spotted sandpiper on the Camel estuary, Cornwall.
The cherry on the patch cake for many in May was getting in on the large numbers of long-tailed skuas reported nationally – at least ten patchers reported this species as among their highlights, and others reported Temminck’s stints, cranes and great white egrets.
I guess it's a little late to start speculating what might turn up in June...But there's never a dull moment in the British birding calender, and soon it will be seawatching season....