6th April

Might we have expected a bit more out of today's chilly blast from the north? Maybe, since we've witnessed many a blistering fall from conditions akin to this in the past but perhaps it's just a tad too early in the season and there still isn't the momentum to migration to have brought enough birds into our vicinity. Whatever the whys and wherefores, today certainly didn't come up with the goods and both grounded arrivals and visible migrants were in really short supply: the 3 long-staying Ring Ouzels remained at Barleycrates Lane, the equally long-staying Black Redstart lingered on at Culverwell and the Merlin that's been around so many months that we can barely remember as far back as when it first arrived was still at the Bill, but there was precious little worth a mention amongst the single figure totals of newcomers. The stiff offshore blow was no doubt propitious for anyone fortunate enough to be peering out from a northern French headland but was an ill wind for our seawatchers, with just 2 Red-throated Divers logged off the Bill.

The Black Redstart at Culverwell © Geoff Orton:

...this cairii morph male seems to be holding a territory around one of the paddocks and was worth a visit just to hear it singing - a rare event at Portland © Martin Cade: