19th April

Had it not been for yesterday's phenomenal outpouring of birds, today would have seemed like a vast improvement on recent form. A thin layer of cloud early on ameliorated rapidly leaving clear blue skies, and the chilling breeze that kicked the day off dropped to next to nothing by the afternoon. Despite the clear conditions, the ringing totals still reached just under 70, with the majority, once again, being made up of the trinity of Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. A Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell was the first for the year, although far from the earliest on record (8th April 1982) it was still an unexpected early addition to the year list on top of a fly-by Woodlark over Reap Lane. The rest of the land-based sightings were relatively tame with a slack handful of Wheatears, Whinchats, Redstarts, Garden Warblers and a single Bullfinch in the garden. The sea was a tad on the quiet side but three species of Skua, including the third Pomarine Skua of the year.  

Not many gardens are treated to such brilliant views of Flycatchers...©Debby Saunders: