30th April

A day doesn't start much better than with an urgent message from Chesil to get on the next flock of Common Scoter; even without the tip-off, the apparent Black Scoter mingled amongst the Commons that soon came into view off the Bill was sufficiently arresting that it was unlikely to have been missed. The Bill remained worth a watch throughout the day with 153 Common Scoter, 76 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Pomarine Skuas and all three divers amongst the miscellany logged. The land continued to produce variety over numbers with the second Turtle Dove of the spring, the highest Swift count of the season at 28, the male Serin again at Southwell (and later the Top Fields), the Hooded Crow on another fly-round, 11 Yellow Wagtails and singles of Cuckoo and Ring Ouzel amongst the more routine fare; after something of a hiatus over the last fortnight, Swallows were also arriving in numbers once again.

A nice male Ring Ouzel was a surprise this far into the spring © Martin King (top) and Geoff Orton (bottom):

One of the pale phase Arctic Skuas close in past the Bill © Martin Cade:

Although they aren't always mentioned on the blog, a few of the Bill Purple Sandpipers are still about and are getting into decent summer plumage © Martin Cade:

Little Owl and Skylark were amongst the local posers today © Martin King: