15th April

The belt of cloud across central Britain that presumably helped in dropping a host of migrants on, for example, the Welsh islands fell a long way short of Portland which was again bathed in constant hot sunshine but certainly not carpeted in new arrivals. In the circumstances, a Wryneck that showed up at Suckthumb Quarry was an extremely welcome minor rarity, but its back-up cast of less frequent migrants included nothing better than single Ring Ouzels there and at Wakeham, at least 1 new Firecrest at the Bill, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill and Wakeham, and 3 Redstarts scattered about; the less said about the thinnest possible spread of routine fare the better. Visible passage was still not the feature that might have been imagined given the conditions, but a few Tree Pipits and Yellow Wagtails did enliven proceedings at the Bill. Ferrybridge and Chesil were busy for a while during the morning, when 123 Common Scoter and 58 Whimbrel passed through off the beach and 27 Whimbrel, 3 Shelducks, 2 Mute Swans, the first 2 Little Terns of the spring and a Mallard dropped in/passed over at Ferrybridge; later in the day single Little Egrets passed through off both the Bill and Chesil.

The first Orange-tip butterfly of the year was on the wing at Southwell.

Immigrant moth interest consisted of just a single Diamond-back Moth at the Obs.

Wryneck, Whimbrels and Shelduck - Suckthumb Quarry and Ferrybridge, 15th April 2015 © Roger Hewitt (Wryneck) and Pete Saunders (Whimbrel and Shelduck)

...and for something completely different, a great little video clip of underwater jellyfish action today off Chesil Cove © Steve Trewhella:

Finally, a nocturnal sounds update to finish off for the day. Nick Hopper's latest offering has been Common Scoter recorded several times in recent nights; of all the recent recordings Nick's passed to us this one just about takes the biscuit, as much for the fact that scoters are flying at night close enough to the Obs to be even heard in the first place as for the fact that the call's utterly unfamiliar (although we tend not to see them particularly close when they're diurnal seawatch flybys, we can't recollect ever having heard any calls from them in any circumstances at Portland) - fantastic stuff!