1st April

Fog is so often a blight at Portland once warm air sets in in early spring that it really wasn't much of a surprise to have it spoil a good part of proceedings today. The day's highlight - a Hoopoe at Suckthumb Quarry - quickly disappeared off into the fog heading towards the windmills and couldn't be refound. If nocturnal migrants had been on the move then they certainly didn't drop in any quantity, for there was precious little in numbers at the Bill, where singles of White Wagtail and Redstart were the best of the slim pickings. Visible passage was more evident, with a three figure total of Linnets, together with a single Siskin, among a varied sample one hour count on West Cliffs, and Swallows beginning to feature at regular intervals everywhere. The day's big disappointment was the sea, where although visibility was often reduced it was nonetheless obvious that there was far less on the move than had been the case yesterday. Two settled Long-tailed Ducks in Chesil Cove gave early hope, whilst later 7 settled Teal off Chesil were also of note, but 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Crested Grebes were the best that could be mustered at the Bill; the Iceland Gull remained at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour, with 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Slavonian Grebes and singles of Red-necked Grebe, Mallard and Eider also of interest from the harbour.

The view from Weymouth of Portland emerging out of a misty dawn - 1st April 2014 © Paul Baker The Bagsy Blog