19th April

If today does prove to be this spring's principal Bar-tailed Godwit day then, through a combination of the relatively early date and seemingly less than optimum conditions, it did its best to catch us unawares and we were fortunate to achieve reasonable coverage in recording it, with 569 logged passing on or over the Bill, 929 over Chesil and 260 settled at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour. Despite some pre-dawn dampness the day's arrival of grounded migrants was modest and not the easiest to get amongst what with the ever-freshening northeasterly, but 6 Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Firecrests, 2 Ring Ouzels and 2 Pied Flycatchers gave some substance to the tally of more routine fare at the Bill, where the 2 Serins and the Cirl Bunting again provided succour for the travelling listers. Once the cloud cleared overhead passage was strong particularly along West Cliffs, with upwards of 500 apiece of Swallow, Linnet and Goldfinch, 15 Yellow Wagtails, 9 Tree Pipits, 3 Hobbys and a Swift, together the first good showing of House Martins amongst others. The Barwits aside, the sea was relatively quiet: just shy of 100 Whimbrel through at the Bill was a good total but singles of Arctic Skua both there and at Chesil were otherwise about as good as it got.

And a great little video that really captures the Barwit experience at Chesil - fantastic! © Joe Stockwell: