9th April

We're sure we can remember the forecast reporting it was due to be cloudy all day - well it didn't turn out that way. In pretty well unbroken sunshine there was never going to be a hatful of migrants making landfall but it was a fair bit better than in recent days. A somewhat belated first Pied Flycatcher of the year at Fortuneswell was the best of the newcomers, but it was the Bill area that got most of the coverage, with Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all getting to around the 40 mark; 2 Yellow Wagtails overhead were another first for the spring, whilst 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Tree Pipits provided some variety. In the fair conditions hirundines featured throughout the day, with a sample count of 63 Swallows through in 30 minutes indicating that passage might finally be getting some momentum. Offshore, the first settled Puffin of the season was a very welcome sight on the water below the auk colony at the Bill, but passage was very slow, with 21 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Divers and a few lingering Manx Shearwaters just about all there was on offer for the seawatchers. It almost goes without saying that the Iceland Gull was again at Ferrybridge/Chesil Cove.

Slow Worm - Tout Quarry, 9th April © Janet Davies

...although not at all uncommon on Portland, this impressively sizeable specimen found in the open at Tout was the first we've heard of this year.