18th February

For the most part, today's visitors didn't get much of a feel for us being in the middle of a promising-looking spell of unseasonable warmth, what with drizzly showers and a couple of pulses of heavier rain being the order of the morning; however, a bright end to day came up trumps with the island's earliest ever Swallow putting in an appearance at the Grove. Passage earlier had been restricted to a handful of Black-headed, Common and Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the move off the Bill, where 6 Red-throated Divers and 3 Common Scoter also passed by. Long-stayers still about included 6 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Short-eared Owls, a Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff at the Bill and 2 more Black Redstarts and a Chiffchaff at Church Ope Cove; 2 Greenfinches were also of note at Ferrybridge.

On an immigrant-free night in the Obs moth-traps singles of Hebrew Character, Common Quaker and Oak Beauty - all first records for the year - provided some minor interest.

Although a mid-February Swallow certainly isn't to be sniffed at, it's a shame that just at moment there isn't the blanket coverage of parts of the island that we're used to later in the spring since there must be a decent chance of there being a freaky vagrant to be found somewhere © Sarah Hodgson: