26th April

Be careful what you wish for... as the wind eased round into the north east and cloud built up across the channel visible passage all but disappeared. The recently productive West Cliffs were rendered hauntingly quiet. However, it was not all bad news as Swifts appeared to be strong enough to fight the imperfect conditions for our first double figure day of the year. The few birds that made it to the Bill included a new Redstart in the hut fields, a Garden Warbler at the Obs and a handful of Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits; elsehwhere, the best of the bunch were two Ring Ouzels at the Verne Moat and 180 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour. Of the 36 Wheatears present, our first potential breeder of the year was in song at the Bill. As the day wore on, the wind dropped to a gentle breeze making the evening sea watch much more pleasant. The evening watch saw the resumption of Bar-tailed Godwit passage with 250 past the Bill, as well as 19 Whimbrel and an Arctic Skua to add to the morning's duo of Pomarine Skuas

Bottomcombe is traditionally the first place on the island to see Small Blues emerge and, despite the recent temperatures, this year is no exception © Ken Dolbear:

As the evenings have got lighter, our recent garden colonists have become much more confiding © Steve Hunting