15th April

Despite the continuing lack of grounded migrants today actually ended up quite a fun day, with some scarcities to get amongst and, under a nice sunny sky, some visible passage getting going. The Hoopoe lingered on at Weston but more interest came in the form of 2 singing Cirl Buntings and a Serin at the Bill; the spring's first Turtle Dove passed through at Easton, a Great Skua off the Bill was the first there this year and only the second for the island as a whole, whilst a Merlin was also of note at the Bill. A very light scatter of Blackcaps made up the bulk of the grounded migrants, with Swallows that were arriving at more than 100 an hour at times the main constituent of the overhead passage. Odds and sods passing offshore included 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 Whimbrel and a Canada Goose off the Bill.

The Serin pitched up twice in quick time at the Obs but on neither occasion was it particularly showy © Martin Cade:

There was a time, long ago now, when the dawn soundscape at the Obs would have been dominated by wheezing Greenfinches and jangling Corn Buntings; these days twinkling Goldfinches, moaning Wood Pigeons and crowing Pheasants are the routine so it was a real pleasure to hear a full-blown rattling Cirl Bunting in their midst this morning. The Serin that pitched in a few minutes later was equally nice even if they are a bit of an Obs staple these days:

Additional to these daytime events, the nocmig recorder at the Obs picked up an unexpected passer-by at 10 to 3 this morning when a Mediterranean Gull was audible; we've never logged a nocturnal Med Gull before at the Obs, indeed actively moving gulls of any sort (as opposed to the local breeders that sound as though they have squabbles at all hours) seem to be extremely infrequent over the Bill - is it the same everywhere?

And for a bit of fun, this black lump in the top left of the photo was our first Great Skua of the year that lumbered up-Channel a couple of miles of the Bill this evening - for someone who usually year-ticks Bonxie on 1st January or within a few days thereafter it seems almost inconceivable that it's taken three and half months to see one this year - however, that's what it's become like in these times of contagion © Martin Cade:

Finally, we must apologize to anyone who spent ages looking for it but due to a multiple misunderstanding the Vagrant Emperor that we reported had been seen this morning at High Angle Battery was actually seen there last Sunday, 9th April. That gaff aside, the photograph of it is well worth a look at and we wouldn't mind betting that there would have been one somewhere or other on the island today! © Stuart Crowley: