21st April

A cracking, migrant-filled day enjoyed in constant glorious sunshine. Numbers on the ground maybe didn't quite match one or two of the earlier falls this spring, but variety was easily the best it's been and visible passage overhead was always conspicuous - with birds constantly on the move northward as they made the most of the perfect conditions, the west side of the island from the Bill to Chesil had something of the feel of a conveyor belt of migration action. Censusing was very difficult with so much movement afoot, but we had the feel that 500 Willow Warblers at the Bill alone would likely be a quite conservative estimate; with so much to see on the ground visible passage was seriously neglected, but hirundines were certainly in the high hundreds per hour for a good part of the day. Although a pretty full suite of expected fare made the list, other notable totals and oddities from this passage corridor included 45 Redstarts, 20 Whinchats, 15 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Pied Flycatchers, 2 each of White WagtailRing Ouzel, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher and singles of Little Egret, Hobby, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Greenshank, Redshank, Black Redstart and Bullfinch. The sea again promised more than it delivered, with 3 Great Skuas, 2 Black Terns and singles of Arctic Skua and Pomarine Skua off the Bill and 2 Shoveler and singles of Gadwall, Great Skua, Arctic Skua and Pomarine Skua off Chesil easily the best of the bunch amongst the lowish totals of Common Scoter, waders and terns.

Another single Clouded Yellow was at the Bill.

A second island record of Brindled Beauty at Sweethill was the highlight from overnight mothing; 2 Dark Sword Grass at the Obs were the only immigrants recorded.

Bar-tailed Godwits & Dunlin, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Sparrowhawk and Brindled Beauty - 21st April 2015 © Debby Saunders (Bar-tailed Godwits & Dunlin and Brindled Beauty), Don Smith (Pied Flycatcher), Pete Saunders (Yellow Wagtail) and Nick Hopper (Sparrowhawk)