30th March

With the light south-easterly not having the keen edge it had yesterday it was a really pleasant day to be birding the island, even if the sad lack of grounded arrivals made for some uneventful trudging. It really was extremely quiet on the ground, with 2 Purple Sandpipers and singles of Merlin, White Wagtail, Black Redstart and Firecrest providing the only interest at the Bill over and above the lightest sprinkle of Chiffchaffs. Visible passage was concentrated along West Cliffs, where sample counts came up with 170 Linnets in 15 minutes and 110 Meadow Pipits, 58 Sand Martins, 47 Linnets and a Skylark in an hour a little later on. Sea passage was never very strong, but a good deal of watching eventually returned totals that included 116 Black-headed Gulls, 100 Common Scoter, 15 Brent Geese, 15 Little Gulls and 8 Red-throated Divers through off Chesil and 7 Red-throated Divers, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Great Northern Diver through off the Bill, where the Iceland Gull was again lingering offshore.

Kestrel - Portland Bill, 30th March 2014 © Paul Baker The Bagsy Blog