14th March

What looked to be very promising conditions at dawn fell far short of delivering either quantity or quality today. Under the overcast skies that lingered all day none of the routine early migrants managed anything like a double figure total at the Bill, where the best of the interest came in the form of a light incoming passage of Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits, Redwings and Chaffinches; a lone Grey Wagtail overhead was the first of the year there. Three Long-tailed Tits were still about at the Bill and a Bullfinch also looked likely to be a lingerer, whilst 15 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Black-headed Gulls through on the sea were the only other sightings worth a mention.

With fewer than 50 new birds ringed so far this year (...we haven't really made much of an effort until recent days) it's been a bit of a surprise to have already handled two 'controls' ringed away from Portland; we don't yet know the origins of the Chiffchaff trapped amongst the three figure fall on Sunday, but the ring sequence of yesterday's Goldfinch was familiar: it was one of Ian Dodd's birds from Littlesea, Weymouth, where it was ringed on 1st October last year (we've had quite a few exchanges of Goldfinches to and from Ian's ringing sites beside the Fleet) © Martin Cade: