21st March

Far clearer conditions weren't at all conducive to a resurgence in passage and it was very quiet throughout the island today, with routine migrants restricted to just low single figure totals. Snippets of interest at the Bill included a likely Iceland Gull headed down East Cliffs during the afternoon, 8 Redwings, the first 3 returning Linnets taking up territory and singles of Black Redstart, Firecrest and Bullfinch on the land and 7 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver through on the sea. Elsewhere, 2 Black Redstarts were at Weston, where 41 migrant Wood Pigeons headed north.

And an update on Nick Hopper's nocturnal sound recording project. Nick was with us again overnight last Tuesday 17th/Wednesday 18th and had another interesting night; he reports that, "thrushes were the main callers with 26 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush and 4 Blackbird...very pleased to get a Moorhen, the call is short and rather distant but just about identifiable...Barn Owl calling quite regularly...one interesting thing that I have been noticing recently is Dunnock's propensity for random short bursts of song in the middle of the night, this happened on 5 occasions that night". The most intriguing sound of the night remains unidentified; the nearest Nick could come up with was Common Scoter, whilst even Magnus Robb was stumped: "I'm really stuck with this one! Although the pitch is right for Common Scoter the shape of the calls is not. Common Scoter doesn't normally show any modulation, and these calls are a bit too long anyway. The sound is somehow familiar but I just can't place it! Maybe it'll come to me...".