6th April

Perhaps its a bit melodramatic to be glad to see the back of the rain after such a brief spell, but at this time of year we don't want to be stuck inside working on the annual report (it will be out soon we promise!) we want to be sat on the west cliffs watching hundreds of birds pouring through. A productive 'vis-mig' session on the west cliffs provided 1,061 Meadow Pipits, 130 Linnets, 34 Swallows, 26 Goldfinch, 16 House Martins (the highest day count of the spring so far), 12 Wheatears, a pair of Chaffinches and singles of Yellow Wagtail, Black Redstart and Whimbrel in just over two hours.

However it was the sea that stole the show today with the first real April sea-watch providing the Bill with 246 Common Scoter, 77 Sandwich Terns, 41 Manx Shearwaters, 13 Arctic Skuas, six commic Terns, four Mediterranean Gulls, three Red-throated Divers, a pair of Pintail and singles of Black Guillemot, Puffin, Great Northern Diver and Sanderling. The sea watch at Chesil Cove also added to the totals of aforementioned species but also added six Velvet Scoter (later round the Bill), a female Garganey a Yellow Wagtail and a Bonxie. Land-based migrants were fewer and further between with the highlights including (presumably the same) Ring Ouzel at Barleycrates, a Firecrest at Southwell and a smattering of Wheatears, Phylloscs, and Blackcaps

Probably the bird of the day was this immature Tystie seen by just one lucky observer before anyone else had made it to the Bill - an excellent find for his diligence © David Bedford:

The Barleycrates Ring Ouzel creates quite the stir with its Houdini-esque disappearing acts © Brendan Sheils: