8th April

For anyone who's a fan of Hoopoes and Common Scoter today was a good day to be alive: a rash of the former provided their customary touch of the exotic, whilst a rush of the latter provided plenty of opportunities to dip into one of the most exciting migration spectacles on offer at Portland. Three Hoopoes - the lingering individual at Weston Street and newcomers at Southwell and New Ground - might seem a tad greedy for one island but were welcome nonetheless and the final tally of almost a round 1000 Common Scoter constituted one of their higher day-totals of recent years. Quality back-ups were available but tricky to latch on to, with a Cirl Bunting bombing about over the Bill during the morning and a Serin passing straight through there during the afternoon. The day's grounded migrant selection was limited in both number and variety, with the odd few Redstarts, 2 Ring Ouzels and singles of Black Redstart and Firecrest the best unearthed; it was busier overhead although singles of Osprey and Short-eared Owl were the only out of the ordinaries amongst the routine hirundines, Meadow Pipits, finches and the like. The scoters aside, variety from the sea included 32 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Shoveler, 5 Arctic Terns, 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 each of Arctic Skua and Arctic Tern, a Yellow-legged Gull and a Little Ringed Plover.

Although mostly rather elusive and skittish the Hoopoe at New Ground did show nicely on occasions © Geoff Orton: