19th April

Another clear but conspicuously chilly dawn brought another decent little arrival of migrants, with the Observatory garden being today's favoured location. Whilst numbers were a fair bit lower than those logged yesterday there was still plenty enough to keep bank holiday weekend visitors entertained, with totals from the Bill area that included 200 Willow Warblers, 40 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, 25 Wheatears, 8 Redstarts, 5 Yellow Wagtails and singles of Common Buzzard (an incoming migrant), Common Sandpiper, Whinchat, Garden Warbler, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher; another 3 Pied Flycatchers, along with a single Ring Ouzel, were the best of the scarcer migrants elsewhere, whilst the mix of 52 Ringed Plovers and Dunlin at Ferrybridge were welcome evidence of wader passage picking up. The shift in wind direction towards the east hadn't gone quite far enough to perk up sea passage, with 59 Common Scoter, 21 Whimbrel, 17 Dunlin, 9 Sandwich Terns, 4 Red-throated Divers, a Red-breasted Merganser and an Arctic Skua the only rewards from watches at the Bill.

A reminder that the next In Focus field event at the Obs takes place between 10am and 4pm next Wednesday, 23rd April.

Blackcap, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Willow Warbler and Wood Warbler - Portland Bill and Portland Castle, 19th April 2014 © Tony Hovell Tony Hovell's Wildlife (Blackcap and Willow Warbler), Brett Spencer Brett's Goosey Ganderings (Pied Flycatcher), Pete Saunders (Whinchat) and Martin Cade (Wood Warbler)

...apologies to all those photographers who so kindly pass us their images if we're not able to use all of them on the site - today, for example, we received a fantastic selection of 24 images from a variety of photographers who were out and about around the island; it's not that we don't want to use them, but just that sometimes we simply don't have enough time to get them all edited, captioned and uploaded before acute sleep deprivation gets the better of us. We are extremely grateful for all these offerings that greatly enhance the site and we hope that visitors will follow the links to the photographer's own blogs/websites to see more of their work.