11th May

Sometimes events that unfold are just so bizarre that you may as well not bother with trying to get your head round them, and one such occurred today when in blink-and-you-miss-it circumstances on an otherwise deadly morning Portland's first Citrine Wagtail swooped in on the little pond beside the Obs patio and after less than 30 seconds flew off, never to be seen again. The quest for the disappeared wagtail did at least ensure there was comprehensive coverage of the south of the island, where 8 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Hobbys and singles of Turtle Dove, Tree Pipit, Whinchat, Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, along with a handful of commoner fare, provided less than adequate compensation for the searchers; 13 Whimbrel also showed up at Portland Harbour. A tally of 7 Great Skuas and 4 Pomarine Skuas was garnered before the early seawatch at the Bill was rudely interrupted; a single Great Northern Diver also passed over at Ferrybridge.

Citrine Wagtail - Portland Bill, 11th May 2014 © Martin Cade
...although a long overdue and anticipated addition to the Portland list - there have been at least three previous near misses that didn't quite make the grade - we don't think many folk would have put money on the first Citrine Wagtail dropping in right beside the Obs patio:

We were particularly pleased that, 14 years after he put in the lion's share of the back-breaking task of digging the pond, John Lucas was present today to witness the fruits of his labour:

...and the pond has certainly come on a bit since it was re-lined - and used as an impromptu paddling pool by one errant child - four years ago: