23rd April

Any day would struggle to compete with the last two so today had it's work cut out from the outset - that said, there was still more than enough going on to keep most visitors happy. The reappearance of yesterday's Subalpine Warbler was very welcome after it had vanished almost as quickly as it had been found; however, it still proved troublesome to connect with and had gone to ground in the Obs Quarry by mid-morning. The spring's first Wood Warbler moved quickly through the Obs garden amongst an early flourish of 150 or so Willow Warblers and many of the rest of day's highlights were less regular migrants rather than another avalanche of routine fare, with the likes of at least 9 Whinchats, 8 Redstarts, 7 Ring Ouzels, 6 Grasshopper Warblers, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Pied Flycatchers and singles of Turtle Dove, White Wagtail and Black Redstart scattered around the south of the island amongst a thinnish spread of commoner fare. Overhead passage was really conspicuous but poorly quantified with a strong incoming movement of hirundines a feature throughout the morning. There were hints that the sea would have been more productive were it not for the mainly offshore breeze with, amongst others, 23 Whimbrel, 5 Great Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver through off the Bill, singles of Grey Plover and Sanderling off Chesil and 14 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank over Ferrybridge.

Reports from some field observations suggested that the Subalpine Warbler was a rather obvious male but that's not really borne out by the photographic/video evidence (...it certainly isn't in the same league as last week's very well-marked bird at the Higher Light); we'd be more inclined to leave the sex as uncertain and wonder if it mightn't be more likely a 'bright' female © Martin Cade (stills) and Dave Foot (video):

We still haven't found enough time to get round to yesterday's photos, but in the meanwhile here's a nice couple from today of a Ring Ouzel and a Whinchat at Barleycrates Lane © Pete Saunders: