13th April

A true face-biter of a wind made for very uncomfortable birding today. The direction of said gale meant West Cliffs was the place to be for visible passage, with a 3.5 hour watch from dawn returning totals that included 446 Meadow Pipits, 325 Linnets, 152 Swallows, 93 Goldfinches, 91 House Martins, 35 Sand Martins, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits and a Little Egret. In the testing conditions it wasn't easy getting amongst the grounded arrivals but estimates from the Bill included 100 Willow Warblers and 70 Blackcaps amongst a scatter of other seasonable fare; elsewhere a Black Redstart was new in at Southwell. The sea was marginally more eventful than in recent days with  9 Arctic Skuas, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Velvet Scoter and a Bonxie the pick of the Bill totals; the first small push of Bar-tailed Godwits (23) passed by at Chesil where there was also a worthwhile total of 79 lingering Mediterranean Gulls.

Not everyone can say they have Black Redstart on their garden year-list © Debby Saunders: