17th April

Although the south of the island was awash with twitchers doing the rounds of the lingering oddities - the Suckthumb Hoopoe, the East Cliffs Western Subalpine Warbler and the Privet Hedge White-spotted Bluethroat were all still in situ - it was the improving common migrant situation that provided all the new interest today. Conditions were just right for a fair weather fall and the birds obliged, with decent numbers and variety everywhere; the Bill area got the best coverage and returned totals that included 200 Willow Warblers, 50 Chiffchaffs, 40 each of Wheatear and Blackcap, 30 Redstarts, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 4 each of Short-eared Owl (including 2 new 'in-offs') and White Wagtail, 3 each of Firecrest, Siskin and Corn Bunting, 2 each of Grasshopper Warbler and Whinchat and singles of Hoopoe (a new arrival moving quickly through), Turtle Dove, Tree Pipit, Ring Ouzel and Pied Flycatcher, with plenty of 'more of the same' reports from other island areas. Visible passage was very conspicuous without being seriously counted anywhere: Swallows were passing at several hundred per hour, whilst the first Swift of the month - through at Tout Quarry - was amongst the quantities of other hirundines and finches on the move.