11th April

Another lovely day to be birding around the island. Grounded migrants were not quite as plentiful as yesterday but, after a slow start, hirundines in particular were arriving in strength throughout the afternoon. The first records for the spring of Grasshopper Warbler (singles at the Bill and the Windmills) and Lesser Whitethroat (at the Bill) were the best of a fair spread of newcomers on the ground, that included 100 Wheatears, 75 Willow Warblers, 50 Chiffchaffs, 20 Blackcaps, 4 Redstarts and singles of Snipe and White Wagtail at the Bill. Overhead passage included 3 Tree Pipits and a Bullfinch at the Bill, but it was the hirundines that were the main feature, with a sample hour-long count during the early afternoon on the West Cliffs returning an impressive 531 Swallows, 18 Sand Martins and 6 House Martins. With the breeze still offshore the sea came up with little more than 4 Curlew, 3 Red-throated Divers and a Red-breasted Merganser through off the Bill.

Redstart, Wheatear and Goldfinch - Portland Bill, 11th April 2014 © Joe Stockwell Yet another birding blog (Redstart) and Martin Cade (Wheatear and Goldfinch) 
...and a little bit more of one of the Redstarts © Martin Cade: