6th April

A bit of a curate's egg of a day - something that perhaps might have been expected given the peculiar conditions that saw the likes of a mountainous sea arrive in tandem with enough warmth for it to be the first shirtsleeves day of the year. The island's earliest-ever Black Tern was a nice highlight from the sea, whilst a grounded Avocet was the pick of the spring's first real push of migrant waders; as for action on the land, the mentioning of Hoopoe and Yellowhammer in the same breath might seem strange but reflects the fact that there have already been more of the former this year than the latter. The sea certainly came up with the best of the day's numbers and variety, with 45 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Whimbrel, 10 Common Terns, 2 Arctic Skuas, a Little Gull and the Black Tern off Chesil and 59 Common Scoter, 42 Whimbrel, 20 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Red-throated Divers, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and singles of Grey Plover and Great Skua from the Bill; the passing Avocet didn't quite make the seawatching viewpoints but skipped over Chesil and dropped in at Ferrybridge. Sadly, the Hoopoe escaped the gaze of birders who had pretty scant rewards from the land: the Yellowhammer and a Ring Ouzel were new in at the Bill and Southwell respectively, but otherwise it was slim pickings with 2 White Wagtails the best of the rest around the south of the island.