14th April

Only a rarity could have made today any better: the weather was as pleasant as it could have been at this time of year, whilst birding-wise it was certainly the best migrant day of the year to date. Despite crystal-clear skies there was just enough of a headwind to drop newcomers in quantity throughout the island, with sample totals from the Bill area of 500 Willow Warblers, 100 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 50 Wheatears, 15 Redstarts, 5 Grasshopper Warblers and ones and twos of Tree Pipit, Ring Ouzel, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat; scrutiny of other areas returned perhaps a slightly higher proportion of Wheatears, an additional 20 Redstarts, 5 Grasshopper Warblers and 5 Pied Flycatchers, as well as extras such as 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails and a Goldcrest. Visible passage was poorly recorded but Swallows and House Martins in particular were passing along West Cliffs in quantity. The wind remained in an unhelpful direction for the sea, although watches at the Bill did come up with 6 Red-throated Divers and singles of Iceland Gull (a new individual), Great Skua and Arctic Skua.

Pied Flycatchers, Redstart, Ring Ouzel and Willow Warbler - Reap Lane and Portland Bill, 14th April 2014 © Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings (top Pied Flycatcher) and Martin Cade (all others)