22nd March

Despite uninspiring conditions - overnight wind and rain that didn't look to have been very helpful on the migration front and left of a legacy of a very rough sea and copious amounts of opaque salt-spray that made seawatching a non-starter - the day was salvaged by the likes of the spring's first Ring Ouzel at the Verne and a continuing presence of half-a-dozen or more Firecrests around the south of the island. New arrivals weren't at all plentiful but with a bit of looking a fair spread of Wheatears, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were revealed, amongst which singles of White Wagtail at Reap Lane and Grey Plover at Ferrybridge were of interest. Seven passing Red-throated Divers accounted for pretty well all the sea interest at the Bill.

It doesn't take hungry migrants long to find some of the less salubrious - but for them richly rewarding - venues on the island: this White Wagtail was making itself at home on the veritable manure mountain at Reap Lane © Martin Cade:

An oft remarked-on component of the local breeding population of Rock Pipits are these pseudo-littoralis individuals; we're not sure if it's always the case but many with this look seem to be males - since it was song-flighting and engaged in all sorts of courtship pursuits with its mate this individual we watched this morning was pretty obviously a male. At this time of year the white supercilium, greyish cast to the head and mantle, and pinkish flush to the underparts certainly invite confusion with littoralis, even if their presence as breeding birds here should make them petrosus © Martin Cade: