24th April

Despite there being plenty enough by way of migrants to entertain today's visitors there was a feeling that events didn't quite live up to expectations, after the wind had swung into the west, a decent cloud cover had rolled in and - although it didn't arrive until late in the day - there was the proper dose of rain for several weeks. The day's oddities weren't discovered until the afternoon, when an Osprey headed north over Easton and singles of Turtle Dove and Wood Warbler - both first records for the year - showed up at the Bill. With Willow Warbler up around the 120 mark and both Blackcap and Chiffchaff reaching getting on for half that total, there were plenty of new arrivals to get amongst at dawn at the Bill. Sadly, it was the back-up cast that was a let-down, with a fair bit of variety but no great numbers; a Ring Ouzel at Verne Common and the long-staying singles of Firecrest and Bullfinch at the Bill were the best of the mainly single figure totals of many of the other expected late April migrants. The sea again struggled to make an impression, with 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Arctic Skua and Great Skua easily the best of a thin selection off the Bill.

A Painted Lady at the Bill was maybe the harbinger of some lepidoptera immigration reported to be heading our way.

Wood Warbler - Portland Bill, 24th April 2015 © Martin Cade