16th April

A real quality day, with plenty of common migrants and exciting highlights in the form of a White-spotted Bluethroat new in at the Privet Hedge at the Bill, Wednesday's Western Subalpine Warbler refound along East Cliffs at the Bill, yesterday's Hawfinch remaining at the Bill for a while early in the morning before wandering north to the middle of the island and the long-staying Hoopoe still on show at Suckthumb Quarry; there were also near-misses with a brief Red-rumped Swallow through at the Bill and another Subalpine Warbler glimpsed several times further to the north on East Cliffs at the Bill but, sadly, neither of these quite made the grade for their respective observers. On the common migrant front a shower at dawn and a brisk north-westerly headwind grounded plenty of Blackcaps in particular, with a good 120 scattered widely at the Bill, where Wheatears and combined phylloscs just crept into three figures each and hirundines pulsed through in quantity all day; the likes of 4 Redstarts, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Purple Sandpipers, a Firecrest and a Siskin added nice variety at the Bill, with additions elsewhere that included the year's first Garden Warbler at Southwell and a Pied Flycatcher at Barleycrates Lane.

White-spotted Bluethroat, Hawfinch, Western Subalpine Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler - Portland Bill, 16th April 2016 © Martin Cade (Bluethroat), Roger Hewitt (Hawfinch), Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot (Subalpine W) and Simon Craft (Grasshopper Warbler)

...and Richard Dobbins kindly doing the honours for us and giving the very appreciative visitors a close look at the Bluethroat: