25th April

Migrant-wise, today was another day not to be sniffed at although it has to be said that birding was never very easy under grey skies and in a stiff, cold north-westerly. At the Bill the emphasis shifted back to the usual Portland spring staple - Willow Warbler - of which there were at least 250; otherwise, variety scored over numbers, with a passing Osprey the only real oddity but the likes of 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and singles of Firecrest, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and a late Brambling of note amongst a typical late April migrant array. The offshore wind hadn't looked at all promising for the sea but persistence eventually produced respectable totals of 700 Manx Shearwaters, 13 Great Skuas, 2 Great Northern Divers and 2 Arctic Skuas passing the Bill; a Black-throated Diver also remained in Portland Harbour.

Osprey - Portland Bill, 25th April 2016 © John Martin

...also from today, thanks to Brendan Sheils for a few photos of Willow Warbler variation:

John Martin (the Blackcap) and Simon Craft (the Wheatear) kindly passed us a couple more migrant photos from the weekend:

And we'll end with a rather cute photo courtesy of Martin King of what's become our Public Enemy No.1: this last winter bunny numbers reached plague proportions and our bird-friendly crops in the Crown Estate Field have been completely devastated (...the stalks sticking out of mud that are all that remain of our swathes of kale look like the sort of thing we could rent out to model soldier war-gamers for a recreation of the Battle of Passchendaele):

...sweet you might well look right now little bunnies but we wouldn't mind betting that an outbreak of myxomatosis can't be far round the corner and you won't be looking so cute then.