23rd April


A reminder that there's an InFocus field day at the Obs between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, Sunday 24th April.

The river of migrants continued to flow - and in fact today it was distinctly in flood as the persisting northeasterlies dropped a steady procession of newcomers both at dawn and throughout the morning hours when tired arrivals could be watched dropping onto the shore at the Bill as they struggled in off the Channel; the only missing ingredient that would have been the icing on the cake was anything really out of the ordinary, with local oddities like a crack of dawn Osprey over Blacknor, an unusual for spring Green Sandpiper at the Bill and a settled pair of Garganey at Ferrybridge all that was discovered amongst the wealth of routine fare. There was so much movement afoot that the day's numbers can be no more than informed guesstimates, but 800 Willow Warblers, 300 Wheatears, 150 Blackcaps, 35 Whinchats and 20 Redstarts - together with low hundreds of Swallow and multiple dozens of House Martin overhead (there simply weren't enough eyes skyward to cover visible passage) - seem appropriate for the south of the island; among the less frequent migrants all-island totals of 15 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Tree Pipits, 8 each of Sedge Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 each of Ring Ouzel and Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Hobbys, 2 Reed Warblers and singles of Cuckoo and Black Redstart were of note. Amongst all the migrant mayhem the sea was surprisingly well covered although not especially rewarding, with 77 Bar-tailed Godwits, 66 Common Scoter, 34 Whimbrel, 4 Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Skua the best of the return from the Bill.

A flavour of the day: Redstart, Wheatear, Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and Green Sandpiper © Joe Stockwell...

...Whinchats © Pete Saunders...

...and Ring Ouzel © Martin Cade:

Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge this evening - how cool must the males look once they get to strut their stuff up on the Russian tundra? © Martin Cade: