24th March

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 26th March.

Cloud, a freshening westerly and eventually steady rain duly arrived but perhaps didn't drop the quantity of migrants that might have been expected. The Bill area was graced with a thin scatter that included 25 Chiffchaffs, 15 each of Wheatear and Goldcrest, 2 new Firecrests and a Short-eared Owl, but other than a handful of overflying Swallows, Meadow Pipits and alba wagtails there was little else to report from the land. Sea passage perked up a little, including 18 Brent Geese, 7 Red-throated Divers and the first 54 Manx Shearwaters of the spring off the Bill and 86 Black-headed Gulls off Chesil. Winterers still getting on the list from Portland Harbour included 19 Great Crested Grebes and singles of Great Northern Diver, Common Scoter and Common Sandpiper.

A Turnip Moth provided a hint of immigrant interest in the Obs garden moth-traps.

Nick Hopper's continuing sampling of nocturnal passage saw him get a night in with us earlier this week. An initial pulse of passage on Monday night saw 104 Redwing calls logged between 20.15 and 21.20 but thereafter there were only a further 25 calls all night; 6 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds and a single Grey Heron made up the rest of the routine movement but quality came in the form of a Moorhen, a Common Scoter and a Reed Bunting - the latter only the second 'night-time hours' record for the ongoing project: