20th March

A misty drizzly morning led to the first fall of the Spring with the damp grounding Chiffchaffs across the island. 200 Chiffchaffs were recorded throughout the Obs area including 56 ringed in the garden. The garden also produced a Brambling whilst a Ring Ouzel was on the Slopes. Other migrants were on the wing in small numbers for the first time this spring including the first migratory Goldcrests with four in the garden and hut fields, ten Sand Martins and six Swallows were along the West Cliffs, Meadow Pipit numbers were relatively low at 67 but probably due to their flight paths being above the low level cloud, alba Wagtails were up to 24 and Wheatears up to 18. The real highlight of the day came from the Sea in the form of a fly-by winter plumage Black Guillemot (Tystie), the sea also produced 25 Common Scoter and 12 Red-throated Divers.

Elsewhere on the island, Reap Lane saw 12 Chiffchaffs and 52 Meadow Pipits, Ferrybridge saw a pair of Wheatears and the Harbour was harbouring a pair of summer plumage Black-necked Grebes.

Despite the number of birds present we didn't really put in enough time to capture todays stars so here's our token Chiffchaff © Erin Taylor

Today we are announcing our Spring Book Sale. As many of our regular visitors know the Bookshop is a well loved part of the Observatory but its been getting a little out of hand lately and therefore some books must go! Join us on the 13th-16th April for our big sale of new and old books and a bit of PBO merchandise too (background picture © Martin King)