24th March

By Portland standards an arrival of 30 Chiffchaffs at the Bill would hardly qualify for a fanfare but such have been the numbers thus far this spring that it seemed like a fall worthy of attention. Sadly, it looked as though little else had been overcome by a migratory urge and, bar a handful of incoming Meadow Pipits and alba wagtails, 3 Wheatears were the only other arrivals of note at the Bill; 5 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Firecrests, 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Black Redstarts and a Water Rail there were all lingerers or winterers. Restricted visibility hampered seawatching there and the only reports were of 30 Common Scoter, 6 Sandwich Terns and a Red-throated Diver through. Elsewhere, the 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat remained at Southwell and there were 2 Blackcaps at Wakeham and 2 Black Redstarts at Blacknor.

We can't imagine today's freshly arrived Chiffchaffs were enamoured of prospects in a miserably dank, chilly and leafless Obs garden...

...but there were sustaining rewards out there if you stuck with it © Martin Cade:

And finally, for something a bit different, a nice old and new comparison. Deborah Tessier kindly popped us through a scan of a postcard she'd come across featuring what we're guessing must be a 1950s view of the Bill; as evidenced by our same view from yesterday there's plenty enough hasn't changed in 70 or so years: