29th April

This spring's migrant avalanche had got so delayed that it was probably always going to be a really big one when it did strike and today's conditions - heavily overcast with a brisk, cold northeasterly - were just the catalyst needed. The movement through was both rapid and on a very broad front but from point counts and the ringing efforts at the Obs it would seem that (probably conservative) estimates for the Bill area were something of the order of 2000 Willow Warblers, 750 Swallows, 300 Wheatears, 200 each of Blackcap, Whitethroat and Garden Warbler, 60 Redstarts, 50 each of Yellow Wagtail and Chiffchaff, 40 Spotted Flycatchers, 30 Tree Pipits, 25 each of Swift and Whinchat, 20 Reed Warblers, 15 each of Sedge Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 each of Short-eared Owl, Golden Oriole and Siskin and singles of Merlin and Hoopoe; with most of these birds patently moving rapidly northward it seems pointless mentioning the often excellent totals of a similar range of birds elsewhere since there must have been huge duplication, but singles of Hoopoe and Golden Oriole in the Grove area were the only scarcities reported. Although conditions were far from ideal for the sea there were a few odds and ends on the move off the Bill, including 80 Bar-tailed Godwits, 41 Common Scoter, 40 commic terns, 7 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Great Skua, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua.

A few nice little videos that really give a feel for the events of the day © Dave Foot:

...and another one of the Golden Orioles © Martin Cade:

And some stills: Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and Greenland Wheatear © Pete Saunders (Pied Fly), Debby Saunders (Whinchat) and Nick Hopper (Greenland Wheatear):