26th April

Today dawned with spot-on ingredients for a fair weather arrival after yesterday's brief weather-induced hiatus: a sharp overnight frost, crystal-clear skies and a brisk, chilly headwind. As a sign of how far the season's advanced Willow Warblers were downgraded to the also-ran category as the larger warblers were strongly to the fore at the Bill: in getting to 150 Blackcap dominated the numbers, with Garden Warbler also turning in a respectable 25; other totals there included 50 Wheatears, 40 Willow Warblers, 15 Redstarts and 5 Lesser Whitethroats, with 2 Grasshopper Warblers and singles of Hobby, Snipe, Short-eared Owl, Cuckoo and Black Redstart of note amongst the rest. Elsewhere, a Ring Ouzel at Barleycrates Lane and 2 White Wagtails and a Hobby through over Blacknor were of interest. Conventional sea passage was almost non-existent, with just 2 Great Skuas through off the Bill, but an evening feeding movement of 150 Manx Shearwaters was the highest total there so far this spring and there was a strong movement of 270 Sandwich Terns through at Ferrybridge.

Perhaps the oddest event of the day was the strong movement of Sandwich Terns through Ferrybridge (they were heading northwest) - this wasn't reflected at all at the Bill so was presumably some sort of odd local movement - did all the Brownsea Sandwich Terns up and leave for some reason this morning? © Pete Saunders:

Time marches on and we're already well past the middle of spring passerine passage with variety now conspicuously greater than it was quite recently; it was a little unexpected that a couple of the Redstarts trapped at the Obs were tardy adult males © Martin Cade and Joe Stockwell:

We quite like seeing the occasional freak of nature and one such this morning was this Garden Warbler with white outer tail feathers; whilst it was likely 'just' a leucistic (...or whatever the more precise term for this condition might be) bird it's tempting nonetheless to ponder on some sort of throwback link to many of the other Sylvia warblers that always exhibit this feature © Martin Cade: