29th April

Yesterday's low numbers were maintained, with a couple of spells of rain through the morning and a freshening westerly wind clearly not to the liking of migrants on land, overhead or on the sea. Passerines were certainly thin on the ground at the Bill, where 2 Redstarts, a Sedge Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat (as well as the long-staying singles of Firecrest and Bullfinch) provided some interest amongst the thin spread of Wheatears and Willow Warblers; visible passage there consisted of no more than a light trickle of Swallows. Waders fared little better with 5 Whimbrel at the Bill and 5 Sanderling and a Knot at Ferrybridge the best on offer. The generally more inclement conditions stirred up a good few Manx Shearwaters, with over 1000 through off the Bill, and were no doubt a factor in the appearance of 16 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 2 Arctic Terns passing through at Ferrybridge, but there were few other rewards from seawatching at the Bill, where a list of 3 Arctic Skuas and 2 each of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and Great Skua was a poor return from a lot of effort.

Immigrant moths consisted of just 3 Dark Sword Grass from the Obs traps.

Arctic Skua and Gannet (with Garfish) - Portland Bill, 29th April 2015 © Ted Pressey

We mentioned last week that the very long-staying Firecrest at the Obs - it was one of the first spring migrants to arrive on 10th March and it's still with us seven weeks later! - had been heard singing; today we bumped into it again lurking very furtively in the same quiet corner of the garden where it seems to have set up a territory and can be heard from time to time. The windy conditions weren't much good for a recording but you get the idea: