4th April

Today felt a lot like a lost opportunity: seemingly promising-looking conditions saw a weather front from the north arrive overhead in the later hours of darkness but, sadly, the intensity of the rain and strength of the wind at dawn scuppered chances to get amongst what looked to be a decent drop of phylloscs that rapidly melted away northward just as soon as the amelioration materialised. Willow Warblers were strongly to the fore for the first time this spring and likely numbered 100 or more around the Obs alone; 3 Little Ringed Plovers were a timely first for the season at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour but precious little else was found on the ground bar single lingering Black Redstarts at the Bill and Church Ope Cove. The sea had a few surprises up its sleeve, notably 5 Velvet Scoters and a Red-necked Grebe through off the Bill where another 20 Red-throated Divers boosted their already impressive spring tally; another spring first - a Common Tern - also passed through at Smallmouth.

Today's Little Ringed Plover in a slightly unlikely setting amongst the cobbles beside Portland Harbour and yesterday's incongruous Canada Goose floating past the Bill © Pete Saunders: