5th April

Today's prompt discovery of a Hoopoe at Tout Quarry added some much needed impetus to proceedings even if it didn't oblige by almost immediately disappearing into the ether; after dark it also transpired via news from a member of the public that a second individual has been visiting a private garden at Weston both today and yesterday. Through the morning the common migrant situation was also looking positive, with a good scatter of phylloscs and Blackcaps at the Bill where 2 Goldcrests, 2 lingering Firecrests and singles of Short-eared Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Redstart added some nice variety on the ground, whilst overhead multiple Grey Herons, 2 Siskins and a Canada Goose were amongst the trickle of incoming hirundines; elsewhere, an early Garden Warbler - together with another Redstart - was at Sweethill, a Ring Ouzel was watched ascending at speed out of Tout Quarry during the Hoopoe hunt and a Merlin arrived in off at Chesil. The sea was a little disappointing: the Red-throated Diver tally again exceeded 30 and Common Gulls were passing in some numbers but, aside from a settled Slavonian Grebe off Chesil and an Arctic Skua through off the Bill, there was little else on the move. Sadly, this early promise evaporated as the forecast rain rolled in quicker than expected and precluded any really meaningful fieldwork after midday.