29th April

Although the Eastern Subalpine Warbler continued to attract a steady stream of weekend listers at Cheyne Weare the main focus of the day was on new possibilities on land and sea. In a freshening southeasterly the sea in particular got lots of attention and returned highlights that included 570 Bar-tailed Godwits, 86 Common Scoter, 52 Whimbrel, 11 Arctic Skuas, 10 Great Skuas, 2 each of Red-throated Diver and Knot, and singles of Great Northern Diver and Teal off the Bill, with a similar selection off Chesil being further padded out with 2 Little Egrets and a Pomarine Skua. An increase in waders and wildfowl was also apparent at Ferrybridge, where totals included 61 Sanderling, 26 Bar-tailed Godwits, 18 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and singles of Grey Plover and Greenshank. A small fall at the Bill included another 200 Willow Warblers, amongst which 10 Whinchats, 6 Redstarts, 3 Turtle Doves and singles of Lapwing and Common Sandpiper provided the best of the variety; elsewhere, the first Spotted Flycatchers of the season were at Avalanche Road (2) and Portland Castle, with a Pied Flycatcher at the former and a Wood Warbler at the latter further additions to the day tally. Visible passage was dominated by an increasing passage of hirundines through the day, with 2 Serins arriving in-off over Chesil at Ferrybridge a further notable highlight.

A lone Rusty-dot Pearl was the night's only immigrant moth at the Obs, but an Early Tooth-stripe was a good local record at Reap Lane and by day a Clouded Yellow was at Bottomcombe; a small south-bound passage of Painted Ladies was evident along and off Chesil during the evening.

We didn't ever round yesterday to extracting a still from our video footage of the Eastern Subalpine Warbler that showed the tail pattern, but Ted Pressey kindly passed us a photo from this morning that shows the large extent of white in the tail corners © Ted Pressey: 

Another day, another Wood Warbler - this one at Portland Castle © Joe Stockwell:

The north-bound passage of Arctic-breeding waders is now well underway and there was some nice variety today; the always compelling spectacle of the annual up-Channel passage of Bar-tailed Godwits - last stop Mauritania, next stop Holland - was sadly way too distant off the Bill for it to be captured by anything other than the imagination so we'll have to content ourselves with Sanderlings and Dunlins, and Turnstones and Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge © Martin Cade:

...and a Whimbrel at the Bill © Ted Pressey:

In as much as there was clearly some Painted Lady passage taking place it might be that today's Clouded Yellow was a new arrival rather than a potentially local-bred specimen © Ken Dolbear: