21st April

A slightly nicer - not quite so windy and for the most part a little warmer - day for birding than yesterday wasn't quite so productive on the migrant front but there was still plenty enough to entertain on all fronts. On the ground Wheatear, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff still made up the bulk of the tally: the first three of them all reaching three figure totals at the Bill, whilst Wheatears in particular were very conspicuous elsewhere including 50 at Ferrybridge; the likes of Redstart and Whinchat were again liberally dotted around the centre and south, with singles of Grasshopper Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and the continuing Cirl Bunting at the Bill and Black Redstart at Reap Lane among the scarcer migrants on show. Overhead passage was steady but certainly not heavy, with 5 incoming Ravens, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, an Osprey and a Marsh Harrier over the Bill and 15 Common Buzzards, 2 single Red Kites and a Hobby over the centre of the island the best of the oddities. Bar-tailed Godwits provided the numbers offshore, where 356 passed over Chesil and 77 passed the Bill; further worthwhile totals from the sea included 17 Whimbrel, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Red-throated Diver off the Bill, 6 Little Gulls and 3 Red-throated Divers from a boat 3 miles off the Bill and 10 Whimbrel and a Great Northern Diver off Chesil. Grounded waders are beginning to feature in greater numbers and variety as the month progresses, with 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel and a Little Ringed Plover at Ferrybridge and 4 Purple Sandpipers among a selection on the harbour breakwaters (the Bill Purple Sandpipers have for a long time been erratic at best and most often absent - perhaps they've moved to the breakwaters?).

A Vagrant Emperor was seen briefly at the north of the island.

Finally, an admin matter: apologies to everyone who's been emailing us with eg membership applications and other queries this week and not getting a timely response but we've been really snowed under with all the birds, a constantly rammed-full Obs and an ever increasing flow of day-visitors - we will get round to answering the emails as soon as we've got a spare minute!

The Pied Flycatcher and Osprey at the Bill © Martin Cade...

...and the Little Ringed Plover at Ferrybridge © Joe Stockwell:

The Wheatears, Whinchats, Redstarts, Blackcaps - and pretty well everything else for the matter - are looking great right now © Joe Stockwell (Wheatear) and Martin Cade (Whinchat, Redstart and Blackcap):

The Vagrant Emperor at Tout Quarry earlier in the week © Gillian Bamford: