21th April

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, Saturday 22nd April.

The change delivered overnight was sufficiently subtle that it could hardly be termed a stir-up but a weak weather front slipping southward introduced more than enough heavy cloud cover to precipitate another whopping fall of migrants across the south of the island at least (...was there anyone looking around the north?). As usual, the perceived totals for the Bill could only be arrived at with some informed guesswork, but it was clear to everyone that Willow Warblers were hugely dominant and 700 was the eventual total making the log; the also-rans included 90 Wheatears, 50 Chiffchaffs, 40 each of Whitethroat and Blackcap, 20 each of Yellow Wagtail and Redstart, 11 Grasshopper Warblers, 10 Garden Warblers, 8 each of Tree Pipit and Sedge Warbler, 5 Ring Ouzels, 4 Whinchats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Black Redstarts and singles of Short-eared Owl, Reed Warbler, Firecrest and Serin (the latter at Southwell). Additions numbers-wise elsewhere included 2 more Ring Ouzels at Barelycrates Lane and another at Blacknor, and another Short-eared Owl at Tout Quarry. Seawatching at the Bill came up with 58 Whimbrel, 26 Bar-tailed Godwits, 21 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Divers and an Arctic Skua.

The first Small Blues of the year were on the wing at Bottomcombe.

Two more of what's turned out to a pretty good late flurry of Ring Ouzels (these were over Southwell) © Pete Saunders:

Bottomcombe again came up trumps with what we're guessing must be some of the UK's earliest emerging Small Blues © Ken Dolbear: