21st April

A very enjoyable bit of everything on the migration front today: not quite the numbers on the ground of the last week but ever improving variety as the season advances, whilst a freshening of the southeasterly breeze prompted a pulse of movement on the sea. Wheatear took over the mantle as most numerous grounded migrant, with over 100 at the Bill and plenty more elsewhere, whilst Blackcap and Willow Warbler both reached the 50-100 mark; an influx of Ring Ouzels saw several new arrivals join the selection of lingerers to bolster the island total to 12, a late Fieldfare popped up at Barleycrates Lane and later other points northward, the second Greenshank of the week dropped in at Ferrybridge and Wood Warbler (at the Pulpit bushes), Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat were all firsts for the season. Visible passage has been only fitfully tapped into the spring - with easterly winds an almost permanent fixture pretty well all the movement has been straight along West Cliffs which isn't the most hospitable place to linger in what's been a chilly spring! - and today was no exception: a Cattle Egret over the Bill was a novelty (maybe surprisingly, there are still fewer than 10 island records despite the huge increases elsewhere) but hirundines and the like that were certainly arriving in some quantity hardly featured amongst the reports received. The sea was well-watched, with an afternoon/evening passage of 700 Bar-tailed Godwits - the majority through over Chesil - the highlight; 12 Arctic Skuas and the first 4 confirmed Arctic Terns of the spring were the best of the rest.

Two Common Sandpipers at Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders:

The Bar-tailed Godwits migrating over Chesil this evening were as compelling a spectacle as they always are: already two or three days into their marathon flight from West Africa we're guessing it's still going to be taking them pretty well all night before they finally touch down in the Waddenzee towards dawn tomorrow - fantastic! © Joe Stockwell: