27th February

We've lost count of the number of times we've mentioned rapid changes in the weather this year and today could have elicited the same observation - in marked contrast to yesterday's rain, today was the most glorious of days. Migrants responded to the favourable conditions and a little selection of standard early fare was on offer at the Bill, where the tickle of incoming Meadow Pipits was joined by a minimum of 11 Rooks and singles of both alba and Grey Wagtails. Four extra Stonechats and a Redwing on the ground was also newcomers, whilst Lesser Black-backed Gulls are beginning to get a lot more conspicuous than they have been of late; movers on the sea included 5 Red-throated Divers and 2 Brent Geese. A few extra Rooks showed up elsewhere, but most of the other interest concerned lingerers, with 3 Purple Sandpipers, a Water Rail and the Blackcap at the Bill, the Hooded Crow at the Grove and 17 Black-necked Grebes, a Common Scoter and the Black Guillemot in Portland Harbour all still about.

Hooded Crow - The Grove, 27th February 2015 © Pete Saunders
...and thanks also to Ken Dolbear for the latest addition to his burgeoning tally of Obs garden shieldbugs so far this spring - today's offering being Gorse Shieldbug: