29th April

And still they keep coming: just at the moment we don't seem to be able to do any wrong on the summer migrant front, with today's 'classic' conditions of a northeasterly headwind under a clear sky producing a hatful of rewards around the south of the island at least. Willow Warblers, Swallows and House Martins were so unmissably abundant that even uninformed members of the public were remarking on their prominence: the Willow Warbler tally for the Bill was c300, whilst the two hirundine species were ripping through on a broad front at a rate of c500 per hour at their peak; other totals from the Bill included 200 Wheatears, 25 Whinchats, 11 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Garden Warblers, 7 Redstarts and 6 Reed Warblers, whilst 2 Hobbys and singles of Greylag Goose and Ring Ouzel were notable amongst the lesser totals. With the offshore breeze of the morning switching to an onshore sea breeze as the day warmed more might have been expected of the sea on this date but there was little on offer at the Bill, where 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 7 Little Terns, 5 Red-throated Divers, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Pomarine Skua were the best of it from prolonged coverage.

Always two of the most popular summer migrant arrivals: Yellow Wagtail at Reap Lane © Debby Saunders and Whinchat at the Obs © Martin Cade:

The Greylag Goose was an incongruous sight as it wandered about in the long grass of the East Cliff fields © Martin Cade: