30th April

A really busy day to end what's proved to be a pretty decent migrant-filled month at Portland. A Bee-eater that appeared out of the blue over Southwell and a little later over the Obs before leaving to the south-east was the icing on the cake of a what had up 'til then been a day to enjoy lots of routine passage under lovely sunny skies. Through the morning the strength of the northerly headwind had been just enough to drop a steady succession of new arrivals at the Bill, where notable estimates (the numbers entered on the day-sheet at the Obs looked to be woefully short in places) had included 150 Willow Warblers, 100 each of Wheatear and Blackcap, 50 Redstarts and 40 Whinchats; the back-ups there were many and varied, with 8 Yellow Wagtails and 2 each of Short-eared Owl and Pied Flycatcher of note amongst a spread of most of what would be expected in late April. Oddly, traditional visible passage of hirundines in particular wasn't anywhere near as strong as might have been expected, whilst not at all surprisingly in a northerly the sea was very quiet, with 2 each of Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver the best off the Bill. Most areas that got coverage came up with a similar spread to the Bill, even if numbers were generally a tad lower.

The first Wall Brown butterflies of the year were on the wing at Bottomcombe.

Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Kestrel and Bee-eater - Southwell, Ferrybridge and Portland Bill, 30th April 2016 © John Wall (Redstart), Pete Saunders (Sedge Warbler and Whinchat), Debby Saunders (Whitethroat), Simon Craft (Kestrel) and Martin Cade (Bee-eater)

And, courtesy of Ken Dolbear, a couple of the day's butterflies - Wall Brown and Small Blue: