22nd April

What a difference a year makes: on this date last year 412 birds were ringed at the Obs (...and the previous day 300 had been ringed), today's total there was just 9! Yesterday's thunderstorms had continued to rumble through into the early hours and offered the possibility of migrants being grounded but in the event they'd more likely kept things from moving in the first place, with only single figure totals of even the commonest species in evidence at the Bill at daybreak; a Hoopoe briefly at Southwell was presumed to be a new arrival rather than a lingerer re-emerging but the only other oddity making the list was a Wood Warbler in Top Fields. The sea tantalised rather than excited, with 7 Great Skuas, 5 Arctic Skuas, 4 Little Gulls and 2 Velvet Scoter off the Bill and 59 Whimbrel, 5 Arctic Skuas, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Grey Plover off Chesil hinted at there being plenty on the move had poor visibility not restricted opportunities for long periods during the morning in particular. 

The trouble with this time of year is trying to spirit up enough hours out of each day to get all the interesting jobs done and we've run out time again in our attempt to catch up in particular with most of the recordings from recent days; the one we did get round to sorting was the ater Coal Tit at the Bill lighthouse a couple of days ago; sadly, as had been the case with the birds at the Obs a couple of days previously, we contrived to miss most of the best song - although in the case of Coal Tit it does seem to be the calls that are the more interesting: