15th April

In keeping with the pattern so far this spring no sooner had it looked like migration was gaining momentum than shoddy weather rolls in to bring things to a halt. Today it was a fierce gale that had blown up overnight that scuppered our chances by seemingly grounding most Portland-bound migrants well before they got to us. The Western Subalpine Warbler lingered at Wallsend for a second day to keep the travelling listers and photographers happy but new arrivals on the common migrant front looked to be very thinly spread even if the conditions were hardly conducive for getting amongst them; the pick of what was uncovered were a Little Ringed Plover at Reap Lane, a likely Icelandic Redwing at Southwell, an early Spotted Flycatcher at Culverwell and a Yellow-legged Gull in the East Cliff fields. For a while after dawn the sea was rewarding, with 5 Arctic Skuas, 4 Red-throated Divers and 3 Great Skuas through off the Bill, whilst Ferrybridge again chipped in with some through movement including 2 Canada Geese and a Great Northern Divers.

Any port will do in a storm and this Little Ringed Plover found a nice little bolt-hole on the receding flood water at the end of Reap Lane - who's going to be the one that jams a 30 second Citrine Wagtail on this pool in the next few weeks? © Martin Cade:

It was that sort of day when even the gulls were back sitting out the storm on East Cliffs at the Bill - with a Yellow-legged Gull in their midst © Martin Cade:

And briefly back to yesterday for some photos we'd forgotten of some of the many Greenland/Iceland Wheatears jumping around the Wallsend area; whilst it was a pleasure to finally see a lot of Wheatears this spring it was interesting that the vast majority we took a closer look at were big, heavily saturated northwestern birds as opposed to anything that looked like it was headed towards northern Britain - for us at least, the latter seem to be severely depleted thus far this year © Martin Cade: