18th April

Another migrant-filled day saw the Bill ringing total for the season overtake that for the whole of last spring - the generally fair, easterly-dominated conditions of the two seasons seem on the face of it to have a lot in common but the last week in particular has seen far more birds consistently making landfall than was the case any time last spring. In theory, this spring still has a lot of birds to come, even if time's ticking by and there's only a little over three weeks left when we'd expect a lot in the way of numbers: Willow Warblers remain hugely the dominant force with another 500 at the Bill alone today, where the chief also-rans - Blackcap and Chiffchaff - chipped in with no more than 90 and 60 respectively; Whitethroats have barely featured at all just yet, whilst by way of numbers the non-phyllosc variety has hardly been impressive. Today's all-island back-up list included 12 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Redstarts, 5 Ring Ouzels, 4 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Siskins, a Greenshank, a Woodlark and a Black Redstart. The sea again had its moments, with the total of c500 Manx Shearwaters through off the Bill and Chesil easily their highest tally of the season to date; 41 Sandwich Terns, 13 Red-throated Divers, 3 Great Skuas and 2 Arctic Skuas were also worth a mention.

A nice trio of early doors less frequent migrants from the Culverwell mist-nets - Grasshopper Warbler, Black Redstart and Redstart © Mark Cutts: