29th April

Although hindsight makes sages of us all, it certainly isn't being wise after the event when we say that today's happenings were far from unexpected: a few days of relative quiet at the peak of a migration season would be expected to end with a decent fall once conditions allowed - and so it came to pass. An almost calm and heavily overcast dawn was quickly followed by a couple of hours of steady rain when routine migrants dropped in quantity. Willow Warblers were very much to the fore, with a good 700 or more at the Bill alone, but variety was maybe a little disappointing, and real quality entirely absent. Although most of the expected fare was represented, none of the other commonest species managed three figure totals at the Bill, whilst some the best of the less numerous totals from the centre and south of the island were 30 Whinchats, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Tree Pipits, 2 Merlins, 2 Golden Plovers, 2 Wood Warblers, 2 Pied Flycatchers and singles of Grey Heron, Iceland Gull (the long-stayer), Ring Ouzel, Grasshopper Warbler and Redpoll. A Garganey settled off Chesil was a notable highlight from the sea, from where 100 commic terns, 18 Whimbrel, a Little Ringed Plover and an Iceland Gull were also of note at Chesil, and 3 Great Skuas, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver the best off the Bill.

Whimbrel and Pied Flycatcher - Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 29th April 2014 © Pete Saunders
...and today's in-hand offerings - a Whinchat (an adult male, in contrast to yesterday's first-summer male) © Joe Stockwell Yet another birding blog and a Greenland Wheatear © Martin Cade