23rd April

With exceedingly clear skies and a brisk north-easterly wind, much of the morning was spent trying to tap into passage as the birds went flying up the island at a rate of knots. An early morning Hoopoe in the East Cliffs quarries was lost almost as quickly as it was found, and a fly by Bee-eater (Portland's earliest ever by nearly a week, and just 5 days later than Dorset's earliest) also disappeared north. Wheatear passage was likely underestimated due to the speed of their movement through the island, but the Bill total reached 73. Little pockets of migrants included the second Spotted Flycatcher for the year at the Hump and a Pied Flycatcher within the commoner migrants at Reap Lane. The sea was lively once more with the surprise addition of Black Guillemot to the day list, along with four Arctic Skuas, five Bonxies and a Puffin as well as the usual fare.

With the majority of spring records being fly-overs, its always a treat to get a Yellow Wagtail on the deck - even when it is surrounded by dung! © Erin Taylor:

The majority of the Wheatears passing through now are strapping, ochre-breasted Greenland or Iceland breeders © Roy Norris