20th April

Another warm day with light winds providing a good arrival of migrants. The bill was busy early morning and continued to attract birds through the day. Ringers were kept busy with a total of 135 new birds trapped. Highlights from the nets were a Tree Sparrow seen earlier in the hut fields, the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year, a Reed Warbler and 2 Pied Flycatchers with a further 5 individuals clocked around the Bill. Other notable tallies included 25+ Redstarts (the highest total of the year so far), 11 Whinchats, 45 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Bullfinches north as well as singles of Siskin and Redpoll.

There were comparatively fewer birds on the move at sea with counts comprising of a Bonxie, 11 Red-throated Divers, 29 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, a Curlew, 18 Common Scoters, 9 Sandwich Terns and a Puffin.

There was an obvious presence of migrants across the island and noteworthy sightings elsewhere included a Corn Bunting over Blacknor, the first Wood Warbler and joint-first Spotted Flycatcher of the spring at Portland Castle and a surprise Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the Tesco carpark.

The Portland Castle Wood Warbler showed well all day feeding in the foliage © Roger Hewitt:

Unfortunately the Tree Sparrow ringed at the Obs today was not one of the hoped-for returning youngsters from last year's successful breeding season © Gavin Woodbridge:

Butterflies have been noticeably numerous in the current mini heat-wave with Wall Brown beginning to appear in numbers - this one was at the Grove © Chris Patrick: