23rd April

Another decent enough day with overcast skies at dawn dropping a succession of mainly routine migrants at the Bill and a clearance through the middle of the day seeing Swallows get going again in very good quantity. The fall-out of nocturnal migrants was very much concentrated around the south of the island, particularly around the Obs, and involved a good 200 Willow Warblers (they accounted for all but 20 of the day's ringing tally of 94 birds at the Obs). Variety on the deck wasn't on a par with recent days but did include 2 each of Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, and singles of Cuckoo, Pied Flycatcher and Brambling at the Bill. Swallows dominated overhead with sample counts, notably of 130 through at Blacknor in just 15 minutes, suggesting that the day-total was well into four figures; other overhead movers included 2 each of Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit, and singles of Hen Harrier and Hobby. The waft of a northerly breeze might have been advantageous on the land but was pretty hopeless for the sea: another 206 Kittiwakes through off the Bill was a surprise, but for this date 45 Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Arctic Terns and an Arctic Skua was a lean back-up tally there. Ferrybridge didn't fare much better, with 57 Bar-tailed Godwits ( 20 grounded and another 37 heading east) the best on offer.

Another raptor that nearly snuck by unseen: despite being not far off directly overhead as it passed high over the Obs if it hadn't been for a few alarm calls from the local gulls this Hen Harrier would almost certainly have been missed © Martin Cade:

One that was hard to miss was this late Brambling - only the second of the year on the island and the first at the Bill: it was so noisy once it pitched into the trees outside the ringing hut that only a profoundly deaf person could have overlooked it © Martin Cade:

And talking of things that were hard to miss - by sound even if not by sight - this Garden Warbler was giving it some stick in the Obs garden this morning: