28th April

After a night that was cold enough for there to be frost on the ringing hut roof at dawn - hardly a frequent late April event - there was a return to form migrant-wise, with plenty about both on the ground and overhead; later, a constantly freshening south-westerly saw sea action perk up, with an especially strong showing by Manx Shearwaters. Although there was a decent post-dawn flight of new arrivals hurrying through at the Bill, it seemed from other coverage that most island areas had their fair share birds: Willow Warblers dominated, with more than 300 at the Bill alone, whilst Blackcaps chipped in with getting on for 100 there as well; amongst the variety that included most of what might be expected at this time of year, a Short-eared Owl at the Bill, 2 Pied Flycatchers and a Cuckoo at Avalanche/Suckthumb and a Wood Warbler at Verne Common were of particular note. Visible passage included single Hobbys through at the Bill and Blacknor. Manx Shearwaters featured in excellent numbers off the Bill where a sample count of 2800 in what looked to be the peak hour suggested an evening movement of getting on for 5000; 11 Great Skuas, 8 Common Gulls, 4 Red-throated Divers and an Arctic Skua also passed through there, whilst 4 Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver lingered on in Portland Harbour and 20 Great Skuas passed through off Chesil Cove.

Kestrel - Portland Bill, 28th April 2016 © Martin King

And thanks to Richard Phillips for this view of the Obs through the trees at Culverwell: