22nd April

With the land failing to deliver any sort of arrival of common migrants it was left to the sea to provide most of today's entertainment and, with the northeasterly breeze gradually veering toward the southeast, it was always worth attention. Bar-tailed Godwits were on the move in good numbers, with 745 through off Chesil and 218 through off the Bill and the first Pomarine Skuas of the spring - 2 off the Bill and a single off Chesil - were a further welcome highlight. Chesil's list also included 3 Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and a Black-tailed Godwit amongst a typically varied selection, whilst 6 Great Skuas, 5 Little Gulls, 4 Arctic Skuas, 3 Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver were worthwhile additions from the Bill. The land had its moments but, at least from the point of view of quality, they necessitated being in the right spot at the right moment since neither the Hoopoe in flight near Southwell nor the Red-rumped Swallow through along West Cliffs at Bowers Quarry obliged for more than their single observers. Migrant-wise, yesterday's Tree Sparrow was joined by a second individual at the Bill, 2 Barnacle Geese overflew there and a Brambling also dropped in briefly; elsewhere, a Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped in at Southwell, a Short-eared Owl passed over at the Grove and 2 Pied Flycatchers were at Old Hill.

Last stop Mauritania, next stop Holland - a few of this morning's Bar-tailed Godwits over Chesil © Pete Saunders:

The 2 Barnacle Geese over the Bill © Martin Cade:

Although it's been here for a month or so (in fact there's a possibility it overwintered since there was one in the same area last November) it was only today that the Moorhen finally showed itself out in the open for more than a split second © Martin Cade

With no reports for several weeks it could be that the Great Spotted Woodpecker at Southwell was a new arrival rather than a winterer emerging from hiding © Debby Saunders:

Although circumstantial evidence suggests that the species is quite likely a resident on the underworked east side of the island (the first record was of two trapped together at Cheyne Weare in what looked to be pretty unsuitable conditions for dispersal), last night's Water Carpet was a first for the Obs and only the third record in total for Portland © Martin Cade:

The Brindled Beauty at Reap Lane was also a nice capture, there having been only three previous island records © Martin Cade: