June 2000

  June 30th Persistent sea fog hampered birding today and the only migrants of note were singles of Redshank, Grey Wagtail and Willow Warbler at the Bill. June 29th There was no increase in the number of routine migrants recorded, but a fine 2nd summer Montagu's Harrier that spent a couple of hours quartering the fields at the Bill around midday was an unexpected bonus after several lean days.


Montagu's Harrier © Martin Cade

  June 28th A single new Chiffchaff at the Obs and a light passage of Swifts overhead were the only birds on the move today. June 27th The Island remained in the midsummer doldrums today and the only worthwhile birds reported were a few Manx Shearwaters and a single Great Skua off the Bill. June 26th The sea was unexpectedly productive in the morning when a few Manx Shearwaters, 50 Common Scoter and 3 late Pomarine Skuas passed the Bill. Elsewhere on the Bill land migrants included 2 Curlews and a Reed Warbler. June 25th More of the same today with a reasonable passage of  Manx Shearwaters, a single Balearic Shearwater and an Arctic Skua off the Bill June 24th Three Balearic and a few Manx Shearwaters were logged from the Bill, but it was otherwise a very quiet day with no migrants of note on the land. June 23rd With some improvement in the weather a little more was discovered on the land today. A 'green' Golden Oriole at Culverwell, and later Southwell, was considered to be different from the bird seen earlier in the week. Additional migrants around the Bill included singles of Yellow Wagtail, Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher. A few Manx Shearwaters were the only noteworthy birds offshore. June 22nd Another blustery day saw a total of 6 Storm Petrels recorded along with 22 Common Scoter and a steady passage of Manx Shearwaters off the Bill. A lone Yellow Wagtail over the Obs was the only land migrant of note. June 21st With the change to much cooler, blusterly weather the sea provided more interest than of late: Manx Shearwaters were conspicuous all day, a Balearic Shearwater passed the Bill, and singles of both Arctic and Great Skua were seen at Chesil Cove. On the land a Curlew and a Yellow Wagtail at the Bill were the only migrants of note. June 20th The same or another Golden Oriole was found at Culverwell in the morning, but otherwise the only signs of  movement were a couple of singing Reed Warblers and a Sand Martin at the Bill. June 19th Whilst the rest of the country roasted, Portland spent most of the day under another blanket of fog which perhaps accounted for the arrival of a female Golden Oriole that was trapped at the Obs in the morning. The bird stayed for a couple of hours but could not be found in the afternoon. A single Blackcap was the only other new arrival reported. June 18th The highlight today was a fly-by Serin at the Obs during the morning: the first sighting of the species since the long run of records in late April and early May. New migrants around the Bill included singles of Curlew, Sand Martin and Chiffchaff. June 17th Today saw just a sprinkle of birds typical of recent days: a Curlew and a Reed Warbler were found at the Bill, and a few Manx Shearwaters and a flock of commic Terns passed offshore. June 16th Fog blanketed the Island for much of the day, but lifted long enough at Weston for the Rose-coloured Starling to be spotted again very briefly in the middle of the morning. Elsewhere, both Ringed Plover and Sandwich Tern were heard but not seen from the Obs. Seawatching was impossible all day. June 15th Again today the few migrants about at the Bill seemed to be going in both directions: a Spotted Flycatcher was presumably a late spring bird, whilst a Curlew was probably an autumn migrant. Off the Bill there were just a few passing Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter. June 14th More of the same today with just a Sand Martin and a Reed Warbler at the Bill, and a few Manx Shearwaters offshore. At Ferrybridge the first Little Tern chick hatched today (visible on the video-link currently available at the Chesil Beach Centre). June 13th With the land once again very quiet it was down to seawatching to provide what few birds were noted: Manx Shearwaters were offshore in small numbers all day, and up to 4 Storm Petrels were lingering off the Bill.  June 12th The sole new migrant on the land, perhaps heralding the start of return passage, was a Whimbrel. The predictable westward trickle of Manx Shearwaters off the Bill was enlivened by the presence of several lingering Storm Petrels through the morning.  June 11th A surprise, but all too brief,  reappearance by the Rose-coloured Starling, this time near the Southwell School, was the highlight of the day. Common migrants included singles of Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher, and seawatching from the Bill provided no more than a few Manx Shearwaters. June 10th A handful of late migrants continue to pass through. Today saw a Hobby, a Reed Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher logged at the Bill, where there was also a single Corn Bunting. After yesterdays strong eastward movement of Manx Shearwaters today saw a good many trickling back westward all day. June 9th Despite a promising feel to the morning new arrivals on the land were restricted to 2 Chiffchaffs and a single Reed Warbler trapped at the Obs. Storm Petrels were still a feature offshore early in the day and there was also a report of a Cory's Shearwater off the Bill. As the wind increased in the evening there was a strong up-Channel movement of more than 1000 Manx Shearwaters together with a lone Arctic Skua. June 8th Little change today with hardly any sign of late migrants on the land. The sea provided a few lingering Storm Petrels in the evening, and after dark the first attempt of the summer to tape-lure them resulted in the trapping of 7 birds. June 7th A second successive quiet day, with just the odd Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher about. June 6th A quiet day with very few new migrant arrivals, save for a few hirundines trickling through. A lone Arctic Skua passed the Bill in the morning. June 5th The Rose-coloured Starling was still present early in the day, this time around the Coastguards and Hut Fields; unfortunately it disappeared after a couple of hours and had not been found again by the end of the day. Common migrants were again sparse, but included a late Black Redstart, as well as a couple of Reed Warblers and Spotted Flycatchers, and singles of  Whinchat, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. The only birds of note off the Bill were 2 Arctic Skuas


Red-backed Shrike © Paul Gale


June 4th A fine singing male Red-backed Shrike was a welcome morning arrival today; it was discovered in Top Fields and ranged as far as the Obs. Quarry before returning and settling in Top Fields in the afternoon. Even better though was the very showy adult male Rose-coloured Starling which was found in the middle of the afternoon on the roadside beside the Dung Heap. Once again common migrant arrivals were restricted to the odd Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher here and there. Seawatching from the Bill produced 2 Arctic Skuas and a Storm Petrel, as well as the routine Manx Shearwaters.


Rosy Starling © Paul Gale


June 3rd Today saw the arrival of the first decent scarce migrant since mid-May: a singing Golden Oriole briefly in Culverwell early in the morning. There were again a few Reed Warblers about the Island, but movement was otherwise limited to a trickle of hirundines and 2 Hobbies passing straight through. Out to sea the highlight was a single Pomarine Skua off the Bill. June 2nd A similar selection of common migrants to yesterday, with Reed Warblers, which totalled 6 at the Bill, a little more prominent. Seawatching from the Bill produced 2 Pomarine and single Great and Arctic Skuas. June 1st New month, same old birds. A handful of seemingly fresh migrants arrived at the Bill, including 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Blackcaps and a Sedge Warbler. Offshore there was a single Storm Petrel and a scatter of Manx Shearwaters.