22nd April

We've always had a soft spot for northeasterlies in April and that love's been more than rekindled in the last few days as migration's really hotted up around the island. Willow Warblers continue to make up the bulk of the numbers, with a minimum of 500 at the Bill alone, but variety is increasing by the day and, after a long hiatus, visible passage has got renewed momentum. Two Jays, 2 Red Kites, a Hen Harrier and a Corn Bunting were bonus scarcities but the day was really one for enjoying getting amongst a good spread of seasonable fare that included 75 Wheatears, 15 Yellow Wagtails, 12 Redstarts, 10 Whinchats, 5 Tree Pipits, 5 Garden Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers and singles of Common Sandpiper, Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart, Pied FlycatcherSpotted Flycatcher (the first of the season) and Siskin at the Bill/Southwell and plenty more of the same elsewhere. It's taken a long time this spring for hirundines to get beyond the level where virtually every passing single gets remarked upon, so today's stronger passage that included c250 Swallows was noteworthy even if it was still way below what might be expected at this time. The sea remained the poor relation, with passing singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Little Egret and Arctic Skua the best on offer at the Bill; 48 Bar-tailed Godwits watched arriving over Chesil at Ferrybridge perhaps hinted at there having been more on the move had there been fuller coverage.

Willow Warblers really were ubiquitous today © Geoff Orton:

Pied Flycatcher at Southwell and Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders:

Always a good Portland bird: the two Jays at the Bill this morning were presumably the birds that have been seen around the north of the island for the last few days and are some sort of legacy of the exceptional Jay events last autumn © Martin Cade:

The Hen Harrier above the Strips at the Bill - it later passed over Fortuneswell en route to the mainland © Martin Cade: