27th April

With bands of rain a constant nuisance birding was never easy today but the stir-up in the weather that had seen the breeze freshen up from the east and heavy cloud roll in overnight downed a nice selection of migrants for the first time in a week. A Golden Oriole at Easton provided the best of the quality, whilst Swallows featured in their highest numbers so far this spring (including 800 arriving over Chesil in 20 minutes between rain bands during the morning) and 150 Willow Warblers and 40 Blackcaps at the Bill marked a return to expected numbers after the famine of recent days. There were few surprises amongst the arrivals but the first 2 Spotted Flycatchers of the spring, 3 Pied Flycatchers and a Hobby were at the Bill, a Cuckoo pitched up at Easton, another Pied Flycatcher was at Blacknor, a Hobby passed through on Chesil and 16 Bar-tailed Godwits dropped in at Ferrybridge. It seemed as though the rain in the Channel was putting the block on a lot of offshore sea passage, with 5 Great Skuas, a Great Northern Diver and a Pomarine Skua - along with another strong feeding movement of 1000 Manx Shearwaters - the best of it at the Bill, but a nice selection of closer to shore movers off Chesil included the first 2 Roseate Terns of the year, 38 Little Terns and an Arctic Skua.

Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat at Southwell and Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders (Pied Fly and Barwits) and Pete Saunders (Whinchat):