On 28th I visited Marshfield and saw a corn bunting, several red-legged partridges, and 8 stock doves. I drove on to Thrupp near Oxford to listen to the SCOPS OWL that is present for its second spring. On a cool, cloudy night it called for a few minutes at 21.30h, and was then silent until I left at 22.40h. Two little owls were also present. An evening walk with the dog on the Mendips on 26th - 2 churring nightjars and a cuckoo heard.
I saw a gannet and some distant auks from Severn Beach on 12th, and single black and common terns at Chew on 13th. A pleasant surprise was a cuckoo heard singing from my garden in Flax Bourton on 15th.
I was in Phuket, Thailand between 6-10th May for the South-East Asian International Bat Conference. A frantic work schedule left little time for birding, and I only saw a few typical South-East Asian urban birds such as house swift, Asian palm swift, spotted dove, house crow, Oriental magpie robin, common mynah (photos below), Pacific swallow, yellow-vented bulbul and tree sparrow.
On 3rd I visited Dartmoor to do some prospecting for a barbastelle radio-tracking project that will start this month. There were groups of whimbrel on the Exe estuary. Wood warblers and a garden warbler were singing at Yarner Wood, and a redstart was heard in Erme wood. In the evening I heard my first whitethroat of the year in Flax Bourton. That evening Chris Stone saw a short-toed eagle (second for Britain) at Barrow tanks until 19.45h. At 20.10h I saw a large raptor hovering from my garden in nearby Flax Bourton. I rushed in to get the binoculars but could not relocate the bird - could have been an interesting garden tick!
A drake garganey appeared on Backwell Lake on 1st. A tame (escaped) white-fronted goose is also present, and I heard a singing reed warbler. My first hobby of the year flew over Flax Bourton on 2nd. The wild garlic is in full flower in Bourton Combe now.