12th April

Another beautifully crisp and clear day, albeit with slightly less bite to the wind. Once again migration seemed a tad stunted until a stalwart observer on the West Cliffs had a Red-rumped Swallow in amongst the trickle of hirundine passage. This really rescued the day totals as land-based migrants were limited to a semi-decent passage of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, a Redwing, six Redstarts, three Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit. The sea was quiet again with little more than low numbers of the regular suspects accompanied by a lone Whimbrel and four Arctic Skuas. It wasn't only the Bill that was quiet, Ferrybridge only saw 17 Ringed Plover and four Dunlin.

We were lucky enough to host Nick Hopper for the first time this year from the 8th-10th April. His sound recordings for those nights included: a Little Egret, Water Rail, Sandwich Tern, Fieldfare, 12 Redwings, three Song Thrush and three species of Owl.

Our nocturnal recording sessions have been very unproductive just lately and even Nick Hopper's better equipment and more studious study of the resultant sound files didn't improve things by much when he paid us a two night visit in mid-week; a Little Egret - sounding as though it ought to be something so much rarer! - was the pick of the bunch from Nick's efforts:

The clear weather may not be ideal for seeing bird migration in action but it's certainly bringing out the lepidopterans  © Erin Taylor (Hummingbird Hawkmoth)  © Duncan Walbridge (Orange Tip): 

Ken Dolbear has long been a champion of the islands invertebrates and flora and here he is presenting his concerns over the islands dramatically reducing populations of both...