3rd March

The thaw duly set in overnight but with it being accompanied by heavy rain that dragged on throughout the morning birding was never easy today; that said, both numbers and variety increased significantly as displaced birds begun to respond and migrant gulls featured. Lesser Black-backed Gulls were clearly on the move although difficult to count, with constant comings and goings of small groups arriving in off the sea - well in excess of 100 looked to have passed though at the Bill alone; a presumed fly-by Bonaparte's Gull off the Bill escaped general attention, but 7 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Gull also passed through there, along with 4 Red-throated Divers and a Sandwich Tern. New plovers and thrushes popped up throughout the south of the island where Golden Plover and Fieldfare certainly topped three figure totals, with Lapwing and Redwing not far behind; other odds and ends scattered there included 5 Dunlin and singles of Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling and Mistle Thrush. Ferrybridge and Portland Harbour were also busy, with 42 Bar-tailed Godwits, 35 Golden Plovers, 16 Shelducks, 3 Teal, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Sanderling and singles of Pintail, Knot, Redshank and Woodlark of particular note.

You'd have thought that Bar-tailed Godwits, being inhabitants of inter-tidal mudflats, wouldn't have too much to worry about from a relatively brief cold snap but this flock at Ferrybridge - part of a larger party of 42 - were one of the more notable arrivals of recent days; another singleton spent the day probing about in a damp field at the Bill © Pete Saunders: