18th April

With it way too clear overnight - and far less windy than during the last couple of days - migration no doubt picked up far overhead but there was no chance a big arrival of birds on the ground. The day's oddest events concerned Subalpine Warblers: the previously lingering bird at Wallsend was apparently reported once early in the morning but couldn't be found again despite plenty of searching; of potentially much more interest though, a second individual popped up briefly in front of one observer in the Obs garden before promptly vanishing into the ether. Among the thin spread of more routine arrivals uncovered at the Bill Willow Warblers were most numerous - managing a 30 tally - but more interest came in the form of 6 Lesser Whitethroats, the first Garden Warbler of the season and the lingering likely Icelandic Redwing; diurnal migrants featured in higher numbers and included a steady arrival of hirundines, 60 Wood Pigeons, 2 Jackdaws and a Merlin. What breeze there was remained offshore and consigned the sea to less than full coverage, with 3 Red-throated Divers and a lone Puffin the pick of the Bill sightings. The day's Ferrybridge totals included 11 Shelduck and 5 Whimbrel.

On an otherwise quiet day six Lesser Whitethroats was an excellent day-total at the Bill © Verity Hill:

With only one day-total in double figures, Whimbrel haven't really got going at all yet this spring © Debby Saunders

Now that there are multiple Cirl Buntings about the island - including two that are clearly paired-up -  we won't be reporting on them again until after the breeding season; however, Portland's a busy place at this time of year and word of their presence will no doubt spread as it clearly did today. Please give them a wide berth and don't linger near them - despite us posting a request to this effect this morning, we were dismayed to discover that by the afternoon a gaggle of photographers had already congregated beside a spot that a pair were regularly returning to. Cirl Bunting is afforded Schedule 1 protection and, should a breeding attempt materialise as seems highly likely, we'll have no hesitation in reporting miscreants to the authorities.