21st April

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 23rd April.

A still breezy if not quite so chilly day came up with a hatful of migration interest on all fronts: after a slowish start there was a very unexpected surge in grounded numbers - particularly of Willow Warblers - a couple of hours into the morning; visible passage was strong throughout, whilst Chesil was favoured for wader passage and the Bill came up with a strong movement of Manx Shearwaters. Willow Warblers dominated on the land, with at least 400 through at the Bill, but variety was perhaps not quite so good as might have been expected at this stage of the spring; Whinchat was the only one of the uncommon migrants to reach a double figure total at the Bill, whilst oddities included just a Wood Warbler at Fortuneswell and a Yellowhammer at the Bill. Visible passage was only seriously counted at Chesil, where Swallows were arriving at 200 per hour during the morning, but amongst the unquantified movement elsewhere singles of Hobby and Ring Ouzel through at Blacknor were of note. Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit both came in with totals in excess of 200 at Chesil, where singles of Arctic Skua and Great Skua were the pick of the makeweights; off the Bill the Manx Shearwater tally cleared 700, with 80 Whimbrel, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Great Skuas, 2 Gadwall, a Mute Swan and the first Pomarine Skua of the spring the best of the rest.

Wood Warbler, Bar-tailed Godwits and Whimbrel - Fortuneswell and Chesil, 21st April 2016 © Simon Craft (Wood Warbler) and Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot (the waders)