10th April

Today's shift of the constantly freshening breeze into the east (...it was forecast to be south-easterly but when does that ever happen?) might not have provided us with the highest numbers of the season on either the ground, overhead or on the sea but the variety topped anything that's been on offer to date. The oddest event was an influx of Continental ater Coal Tits, with singles at the Bill and Ladymead (the latter only heard but in the circumstances pretty well certain to be an ater) and 2 at Blacknor. An arrival of common migrants on the ground was a short, sharp affair involving mainly phylloscs and Wheatears (including at Bill perhaps a mixed 100 of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, and 80 or so Wheatears) that moved off very quickly after dawn; the Ring Ouzel was still about, whilst singles of Redstart and Brambling were further bonuses. The steady flow of hirundines overhead was only really impressive when compared with the dreadful numbers logged up until today; the first Tree Pipit of the spring passed over at Easton, whilst the usual early April suspects were also on the move including a noticeable passage of finches that were leaving out to sea (...that might sound odd but it's been noted many times in the past at this time of year - are they leaving in the manner of, say, the Blackcaps of the modern era?). The sea got plenty of attention and there were decent rewards at both the Bill and Chesil including combined totals of 198 Common Scoter, 134 Kittiwakes, 54 Sandwich Terns, 23 Pale-bellied Brents, 10 Red-throated Divers, 8 Whimbrel, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Great Skuas, a Canada Goose and a Tufted Duck.

A flavour of the day in four photographs © Peter Moore Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog