16th April

For the first time this spring there was an almost perfect feel to conditions at dawn, with a few spits and spots of damp in the air and no more than a waft of a breeze. Migrants were soon in evidence in quantity although - and exemplifying the relative latenesss of the season - variety was nothing to shout about. On the ground, Willow Warblers were hugely dominant and made up three-quarters of the respectable catch in the Obs mist-nets, but a total of 9 Grasshopper Warblers dotted about the centre and south of the island were a nice surprise; the odd Redstart here and there and the likes of singles of Whinchat and Firecrest were bonuses even if several species, notably Wheatear, were conspicuously few and far between. Overhead, Swallows got moving early and seemingly in quantity although thorough coverage of their passage was sadly lacking; an Osprey over Easton was the pick of the visible migrants. Lingerers continuing to entertain included at least 1 of the Cirl Buntings at the Bill and the Hoopoe at Weston Street. The sea was well looked at but failed to really deliver, with the best 4 Red-throated Divers, 3 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua through off the Bill; a handful of waders over Chesil included 10 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits.

The Cirl Bunting that roamed the Bill area all day was a really good performer, singing vigorously at each stop it made © Martin Cade:

Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel at Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders:

An unusual sight at the Bill tip were three Grey Seals actually hauling out on the shore at low tide; this is quite regular behaviour in some quieter parts of the island but we've never seen full-size Grey Seals out of the water at the Bill before now © Fred Allway (top) and Roger Hewitt (bottom):