3rd May

Thus far this spring Portland's been blessed with a succession of cracking falls of migrants and today carried on in the same vein: a nice fair weather arrival saw a brisk northeasterly headwind drop a steady flow of pausing newcomers through the morning, before a build up of heavy cloud overhead towards midday ensured that many latecomers lingered for a good part of the rest of the day. The Bill area was well covered and returned totals that included 500 Willow Warblers, 100 Wheatears, 60 Blackcaps, between 25 and 40 each of Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher, 10 to 15 each of Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Whinchat, Redstart, Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 2 each of Hobby, Whimbrel and Grasshopper Warbler, and singles of Short-eared Owl, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Black Redstart. By and large, other sites visited proved to be much quieter but a pocket of action at Suckthumb Quarry provided a Cetti's Warbler and a Wood Warbler - following the apparent departure of both the Eastern Subalpine Warbler and the Dusky Warbler, the only oddities reported all day; singles of Hobby and Black Redstart at Blacknor were further noteworthy additions to the day's totals, whilst extra variety came in the form of 2 Grey Plovers, a Sanderling and a Knot amongst the waders at Ferrybridge. The freshening breeze had backed too far offshore for the sea, with 15 Sanderling, 2 Pomarine Skuas and a Great Northern Diver through off the Bill and another Great Northern Diver over Ferrybridge the only worthwhile sightings.

A little immigrant interest featured again in the moth-traps, including 11 Diamond-back Moths and a Silver Y at the Obs and 7 Silver Y and a Diamond-back Moth at the Grove.

A few of the great selection of migrants today; Spotted Flycatcher at Southwell © Pete Saunders:

Pied Flycatcher at the Bill © Ian Lewington:

Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit at the Bill © Joe Stockwell:

Whimbrel at the Bill © Alick Simmons:

It's that time of year when TV folk want a piece of the migrant action: today we had a morning with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and crew making a programme to feature in a forthcoming BBC2 series © Peter Morgan: