8th April

An excellent day for migration, although much of it was focused on the centre of the island, not at the Bill. Firsts for the year included Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Whinchat, whilst Lesser Whitethroat was a first for the spring. The West Cliffs were alive with the passage of hirundines, a three species day with Swallow making up the bulk of the numbers, however finches also put in a good display with 65 Linnets in just under an hour. Another Red Kite straying onto the island from the mainland was the day's bonus oddity. The glorious weather brought with it a thick spring haze so sea watching was limited to singles of Puffin, Bonxie, Sandwich Tern and Whimbrel as well as low single figures of the usual fare.

With the temperature peaking at over 16°c, it was unsurprisingly a great day for butterflies with three firsts for the year - Holly Blue, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood - as well as Orange-tip, Large White, Peacock, Comma and Large Tortoiseshell.

For an all-too-short period of time, Portland's hedge rows are dressed in an organza of white blossom. Upon closer inspection, flickers of movement betray the location of early migrants like this Chiffchaff before they dive back into the thorny depths © Martin Cade:

The first good day of hirundine movement this year included double figures of Sand Martins moving along the West Cliffs © Debby Saunders