18th April

In a repeat of events earlier in the week a brisk headwind downed a decent arrival of new migrants out of a clear blue sky - many of the newcomers were grounded only briefly and, in contrast with the fall at the beginning of the week, there was a far from uniform presence across the island, with the Bill and Reap Lane/Barleycrates Lane being today's favoured spots. The Bill got the lion's share of the coverage and returned - in the circumstances probably conservative - totals of 300 Willow Warblers, 150 Blackcaps, 100 Wheatears, 50 Whitethroats, 10 each of Redstart and Chiffchaff, 4 each of Tree Pipit, Whinchat and Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whimbrel, 2 each of Sedge Warbler  and Lesser Whitethroat, and singles of Blue-headed Wagtail, Pied Flycatcher and Bullfinch; additions to the tally elsewhere included a Ring Ouzel at Barleycrates Lane and a Cuckoo at Tout Quarry. Overhead passage wasn't well censused but incoming hirundines were certainly conspicuous throughout the day. The spring's first Black Tern at Chesil Cove was easily the best of the sightings from the sea, with watches at the Bill coming up with nothing better than 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Shelducks and a Great Northern Diver.

Migrant medley, Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat - Portland Bill, 18th April 2014 © Joe Stockwell Yet another birding blog (medley & Grasshopper Warbler) and Martin Cade (Lesser Whitethroat & Whitethroat)