With a cold NE wind blowing, heavily overcast skies and frequent rain showers this morning, i wasn't hopeful of getting much in the way of visible migration. However the first Hobby of the spring speeding overhead at 09.30am meant things were looking up, even with the grim weather conditions! Another Hobby flew through at 09.40am high >NE, but these sightings were totally eclipsed when a flock of 24 Whimbrel flew over high > NE at 11.13am! This is only the 2nd sighting of Whimbrel at Lutley Wedge and a record count, with the previous sighting of just a single bird at Wassell Grove Pools on 14/5/09. The flock that flew over the pools today were part of a large overland movement of Whimbrel through midland counties and were possibly the same flock of birds seen flying North over Upton Warren WWT reserve a little earlier at 09.30am. Many of the other Whimbrel flocks seen today were also heading Northeast presumably towards the Wash and Lincolnshire coast. This overland movement also included Arctic Terns, Kittiwakes and other wader species.
The pressure chart and rainfall radar etc for today show ideal conditions for seeing wader passage, as birds migrating overland heading north and northeast encountered the frontal system of thick cloud and rain showers, and were forced to fly lower than normal or became 'grounded'.
U.K Satellite Image 8/5/10 showing thick rain bearing cloud feeding in on NE winds from the North Sea.
Rainfall Radar image 11.00am 8/5/10
Lutley Wedge Migrant Totals:-
3 Hobby (2>NE 1>WNW)
2 House Martin