21st March

Another cracking day. Overcast skies and a hint of misty drizzle saw a second vernal fall bringing with it a few firsts for the year. Once again Chiffchaffs provided the bulk of the migrants with 71 trapped at the Obs and the same numbers again elsewhere. The days highlights came in the form of the first migrant Firecrest trapped in the garden, a female Merlin in off the sea, a lovely male Ring Ouzel in the top fields, the first Willow Warblers of the year (three trapped) and the beginnings of Blackcap migration. Other migrants included: 21 Wheatears, two Black Redstarts, 100 Meadow Pipits, 26 alba Wagtails, 5 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins and three Goldcrests. The sea provided us with a highlight of 38 Dunlin accompanied by 45 Common Scoter and four Red-throated Divers

Elsewhere on the island a pair of new Firecrests were at Thumb lane and the first Green-veined White was out at Chesil Cove. 

The first Merlin of the season was a female that came straight in off the sea and was seen shooting off over the West Cliffs before disappearing © Martin Cade:

The third Ring Ouzel of the season, but the first to be photographed, was a cracking male © Martin Cade: 


A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 23rd March.