30th March

Maybe it's just that there aren't the birds about these days, but what looked to be pretty spot-on conditions spectacularly failed to deliver migrants in any quantity today: we're only one day off the date on which we had our highest ever catch of migrants at the Obs just a few years ago - 615 on 31st March 2012 - but today delivered just 4 new birds from a whole morning of trying! The light southerlies and party overcast sky certainly looked OK, but Wheatear and Chiffchaff only managed 20 apiece at the Bill and a couple of Firecrests further up-island were the only very minor oddities; the Hume's Warbler was still about at Thumb Lane, as were 6 Purple Sandpipers and a Short-eared Owl at the Bill. The sea saved the day to some extent, with 79 Common Scoter, 10 Sandwich Terns, 7 Red-throated Divers and 2 each of Great Skua and Arctic Skua through off the Bill; the Iceland Gull also did a round of the island: after being first spotted settled at Barleycrates Lane it later lingered for a while off the Bill and then showed up again at Portland Port.

Immigrant insect interest was limited to just 2 Painted Ladys at the Bill.

Arctic Skua and Iceland Gull off the Bill this morning © Keith Pritchard:

...and a Painted Lady that pitched up on the Obs patio © Martin Cade: