April 2004



  Subalpine Warbler and Stone Curlew - Portland Bill, April 30th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 30th The long wait for a quality spring rarity came to an end this morning when a male Subalpine Warbler - on plumage and measurements seemingly a bird of the eastern form albistriata - was trapped and ringed in the Obs garden (biometry and more in-hand photos); it was released into the Obs Quarry but in increasingly miserable weather conditions wasn't seen again. There was further quality in the form of a Stone Curlew at the Bill, a Nightjar at Suckthumb Quarry and a flock of 40 Black-tailed Godwits off the Bill. Common migrants were again quite plentiful, with the Bill area producing most of the species logged yesterday, although numbers of all were somewhat lower; noteworthy counts there included 60 Whitethroats, 60 Blackcaps, 30 Whinchats, 15 Garden Warblers, 10 Reed Warblers, 5 Pied Flycatchers, 4 Grasshopper Warblers, a Cuckoo and a Wood Warbler. Notable sightings elsewhere included a Knot at Ferrybridge and a Firecrest at Easton. A few Manx Shearwaters remained off the Bill, where 2 Little Terns, a Great Northern Diver and a Black Tern also passed through.



  Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher - Portland Bill and Southwell, April 29th 2004 © Martin Cade (left) and Debby Saunders (right)

  April 29th With the weather forecasters reporting grim conditions on the other side of the Channel there was no expectation of much in the way of new arrivals; fortunately the birds confounded the local pundit's predictions and the Bill area at least was awash with birds. Numbers were tricky to estimate as everything was moving through very quickly and, in strong winds and constant light rain, many of the Obs garden mist-nets were out of action. Much of the island was hardly visited, but the Bill area produced minimum counts of 300 Wheatears, 300 Willow Warblers, 250 Swifts, 150 Whinchats, 90 Whitethroats, 60 Blackcaps, 30 Yellow Wagtails (and a single Blue-headed Wagtail), 30 Sedge Warblers, 25 Tree Pipits, 20 Garden Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, 16 Pied Flycatchers, 15 Whimbrel, 15 Redstarts, 15 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Common Sandpipers, 6 Reed Warblers, 4 Black Redstarts, 3 Cuckoos, 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Hobbies, 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and a Firecrest. The strong offshore winds saw to it that the sea produced nothing more than a few lingering Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua.



  Sanderling - Ferrybridge, April 28th 2004 © Debby Saunders

  April 28th Much quieter today in chilly, dull north-easterlies. Swifts trickled in off the sea all day, but the only conspicuous grounded migrants were Wheatears (mainly Greenland Wheatears) that numbered over 60 at the Bill. The handful of other migrants there included 10 Whimbrel, 10 Blackcaps, 3 Whinchats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Common Sandpiper, a Redstart, a Garden Warbler and a Firecrest, whilst there were 200 Dunlin, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Sanderling at Ferrybridge. The offshore wind did seawatchers no favours, with 50 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas the only noteworthy sightings off the Bill.



  Whinchat - Southwell, April 27th 2004 © Debby Saunders

  April 27th The return of a good cloud cover worked wonders on the land, where there was a good arrival of most of the expected late April migrants. The Bill area was distinctly busier than most of the rest of the island and produced counts including 200 Willow Warblers, 90 Wheatears, 60 Whitethroats, 40 Blackcaps, 30 Whinchats, 12 Pied Flycatchers, 10 Tree Pipits, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Redstarts, 8 Sedge Warblers, 8 Garden Warblers, 7 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Hobbies, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher; elsewhere there were 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Hobbies and 2 Pied Flycatchers in the Barleycrates Lane/Suckthumb Quarry area and 290 Dunlin and a Ruff at Ferrybridge. Swifts and hirundines passed overhead in quantity all day. Seawatching at the Bill produced 50 Manx Shearwaters, 18 Dunlin, 16 Eider, 9 Pomarine, 5 Arctic and a Great Skua, and 3 Red-throated Divers. April 26th Still not much of consequence to report. Odds and sods on the land included a 4 Whimbrel, 2 Whinchats, a Woodcock, a Turtle Dove and a Fieldfare at the Bill, and a Merlin and a Greenshank passing overhead there. The sea was quieter than over the weekend, with totals at the Bill of 100 Manx Shearwaters, 79 Common and 2 Velvet Scoter, 78 Bar-tailed Godwits, 21 commic, 5 Sandwich and a Black Tern, 2 Arctic, 1 Pomarine and 1 Great Skua, and 1 Great Northern Diver, whilst off Chesil Beach there were 350 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Pomarine Skuas. Up to 25 Little Terns are now settled in at Ferrybridge, where there were also 40 Dunlin, 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Sanderling and a Whimbrel.



  Turtle Dove - Southwell, April 25th 2004 © Debby Saunders

  April 25th With high pressure still dominating it was another fine but birdless day on the land. A Serin flew north at the Bill but there was otherwise nothing in numbers and nothing else of note except for a Turtle Dove at Southwell and a steady passage of hirundines and a few Swifts overhead. Fortunately there was some movement at sea, with plenty more Bar-tailed Godwits and a variety of other typical spring fare passing the Bill and Chesil Beach. At the Bill there were 729 Bar-tailed Godwits, 100 Manx Shearwaters, 100 Common Scoter, 36 Black-headed Gulls, 26 commic and 6 Sandwich Terns, 5 Arctic and 2 Great Skuas, 3 Shelduck, 3 Golden Plover, 2 Red-throated and a Black-throated Diver, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Crested Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser, whilst Chesil Beach produced 280 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Whimbrel, 41 Black-headed Gulls, 22 Common Scoter, 15 Common and 10 Sandwich Terns, 4 Shelduck, 4 Grey Plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Gadwall, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Little Gulls, a Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, a Great Skua and an overflying Hobby.



  Bar-tailed Godwits - Portland Bill, April 24th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 24th A fine, warm and sunny day with hardly a breath of wind - pretty hopeless conditions for producing any migrants! The lightest sprinkle of grounded new arrivals included 4 Redstarts, 4 Whinchats and 4 Grasshopper Warblers dotted around the island; the only oddity was the long-staying Pheasant that was still in Top Fields at the Bill. Swallows were again on the move in quantity, but the only other fly-overs of note were 6 Yellow Wagtails over the Bill. Offshore, 200 Manx Shearwaters were still off the Bill, where 175 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Whimbrel, 3 Arctic and a Great Skua, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Sanderling also passed through; another Arctic Skua was seen flying high over Barleycrates Lane. April 23rd Despite the clear, cloudless conditions there was a surprisingly good early arrival of migrants on the land although few birds lingered for more than a couple of hours after dawn. The Bill area produced totals of 100 Willow Warblers, 30 Chiffchaffs, 20 Wheatears, 20 Redstarts, 15 Blackcaps,  8 Whinchats, 4 Sedge Warblers, 3 Grasshopper Warblers and a Reed Warbler; another 100 Wheatears, as well as 5 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Chaffinches, a Hobby and a Grey Wagtail passed straight through without lingering, and hirundines got moving again in some numbers as the day went on. Another 3 Grasshopper Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and a Garden Warbler were the pick of the grounded migrants around the centre of the island. Off the Bill, up to 200 Manx Shearwaters continued to linger but passage itself was at a virtual standstill, with just 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Whimbrel, an Arctic Skua and a Sandwich Tern passing through all morning.



  Grasshopper Warbler and Manx Shearwater - Portland Bill, April 22nd 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 22nd Another small arrival of new common migrants included totals of 10 Redstarts, 10 Grasshopper Warblers, 8 Sedge Warblers, 3 Whinchats, a Merlin, a Black Redstart and a Garden Warbler scattered around the south of the island; as the day went on hirundines also started to pass through in quantity, with 250 Swallows counted in an hour on the West Cliffs. The Hoopoe showed up again briefly on the edge of Southwell and a Serin flew over at Barleycrates Lane. Sea passage died a death at the Bill, where just 5 Arctic and 4 Great Skuas, 2 Velvet Scoter and a Great Northern Diver passed through and 100 Manx Shearwaters were lingering offshore.




  Great, Arctic and Pomarine Skuas - Portland Bill, April 21st 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 21st Wetter and windier than for a few days although a few common migrants still managed to struggle in, with 3 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts, a Whinchat and a Grasshopper Warbler among a small flurry of new Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers at the Bill. Seawatching there produced 700 Manx Shearwaters, 79 Common Scoter, 76 commic terns, 24 Sandwich Terns, 21 Great, 10 Arctic and 5 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Red-throated Divers and 2 Whimbrel, whilst at Chesil Cove there were 2 Arctic and a Pomarine Skua. April 20th Only the most minor of pulses of passage again today, with a few new Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers but nothing else in any numbers; a Serin - seemingly not one of the birds seen on the last two days - was at Southwell briefly at midday, but otherwise a Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill was the only scarcer migrant reported although the long-staying Pheasant was also still there. The sea provided more interest, with 100 Manx Shearwaters, 21 Common Scoter, 11 Arctic, 7 Great and 1 Pomarine Skua, 2 Red-throated, 2 Black-throated and a Great Northern Diver, 3 commic terns and a Whimbrel passing the Bill. April 19th The Hoopoe remained at Southwell but there was no sign of the 2 Serins there. New common migrants were again pretty sparsely spread (just 2 new birds were trapped and ringed at the Obs all day), although the first Swift of the spring passed overhead at the Bill and there were 10 Redstarts, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Whimbrel, a White Wagtail, a Garden Warbler and a Firecrest scattered around the south of the island and 4 Ring Ouzels and a Redstart at Verne Common. Seawatching at the Bill produced just a few lingering Manx Shearwaters, 21 Common Scoter, a Shelduck, an Arctic Skua and a Great Skua.



  Hoopoe - Southwell, April 17th 2004 © Debby Saunders

  April 18th The Serin remained at Southwell where it was joined by a second individual for a good part of the day; the Hoopoe was also still there although it was always elusive. After a wet and windy night, new common migrants were thin on the ground, but did include the first Garden Warbler of the year at Southwell, 2 Redstarts there and another at the Bill, a Lapwing at Reap Lane, a Firecrest at Culverwell and a Grasshopper Warbler at the Bill; single Pheasants were at Culverwell and Avalanche Road. The sea provided a flurry of movement early in the morning but was quiet later in the day; totals at the Bill included 160 Manx Shearwaters, 33 commic terns, 7 Great and 2 Arctic Skuas, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Teal and a Great Northern Diver. April 17th Quite good variety today but numbers of common migrants were on the low side. A Serin was found at Southwell in the same spot that one was present a couple of weeks ago (and looked as though it could be the same individual) and a Hoopoe that showed up nearby late in the afternoon was probably the bird seen yesterday at Culverwell, but otherwise the pick of the scarcer migrants were 5 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Firecrests, a Turtle Dove, a Black Redstart and a Ring Ouzel scattered around the Bill area, 2 more Turtle Doves at the Grove and another Ring Ouzel at Verne Common. Seawatching there produced 650 Gannets, 193 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Common Scoter, 14 Arctic, 5 Great and 2 Pomarine Skuas, 4 Sandwich Terns, 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Mallard, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Brent Goose.



  Hoopoe - Culverwell, April 16th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 16th Culverwell provided the quality today with an elusive Hawfinch soon after dawn, and a Hoopoe that showed for half-an-hour or so shortly afterwards. Commoner migrants around the southern half of the island included 200 Willow Warblers, 50 Wheatears, 30 Whimbrel, 10 Redstarts, 10 Grasshopper Warblers, 6 Goldcrests, 5 Whitethroats, 2 Ring Ouzels, 3 Sedge Warblers, a Lapwing, a Cuckoo and a Bullfinch, whilst elsewhere there were another 5 Ring Ouzels at Verne Common. Hirundines, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches were again on the move in good numbers along the West Cliffs. Sea passage was quite disappointing, with just 21 Manx Shearwaters, 8 Common Scoter, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua passing the Bill. April 15th Fairly quiet again on the land with just a small arrival of new migrants everywhere. Scarcer species included 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Firecrests and a Bullfinch at the Bill and a Black Redstart at Reap Lane; the Pheasant was again at the Bill, with a second individual seen at Tout Quarry early in the morning. The sea provided more interest than in recent days, with the first 7 Pomarine Skuas of the spring off the Bill, where 377 Gannets, 200 Manx Shearwaters, 106 Common Scoter, 16 Whimbrel, 15 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Arctic Skuas, 3 Common Terns, 3 Little Gulls and a Great Skua also passed through. Elsewhere the first 7 Little Terns were at Ferrybridge, where a Little Ringed Plover was also present. April 14th Skies cleared overnight and a pleasant sunny day saw migrant numbers dwindle. Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were the only species that just managed double-figure counts, an Osprey flew over Southwell at midday but amongst the handful of other migrants present the only faintly interesting sightings were of 2 Bullfinches, a Firecrest, a Brambling and a Reed Bunting at the Bill and the first Lesser Whitethroat of the year at Verne Common. Seawatching there produced 37 Common and 2 Velvet Scoter, 3 Canada Geese, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Shelduck, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Sandwich Tern, whilst 2 Great Skuas flew over Ferrybridge and Portland Harbour in the evening.




  Redstart and Pheasant - Portland Bill, April 13th 2004 © Guy Edwardes www.guyedwardes.com (top) and Martin Cade (bottom)

  April 13th Common migrants keep arriving in quantity, with another good fall this morning. At the Obs more birds have been trapped and ringed in the last six days than were ringed during the whole of last spring (a total of 870 birds between 8th and 13th April as against just 827 in the three months from March to May last year). Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs continued to dominate, with 400 of the former and 100 of the latter at the Bill; other counts there included 75 Blackcaps, 50 Wheatears, 30 Redstarts, 7 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Redshanks, 2 Goldcrests, a Black Redstart, a Firecrest and a Pied Flycatcher. The only oddity reported was the Pheasant that continued to roam the Bill area. The first 5 Whimbrel of the spring passed through off the Bill, where 21 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were also logged.




  Ring Ouzel, Woodlark and Wryneck - Southwell and Portland Bill, April 12th 2004 © Debby Saunders (top left) and Martin Cade (top right and bottom)

  April 12th A cracking end to an excellent Easter bank holiday weekend, with another large fall of common migrants and several more quality scarcer species. The Bill area again came up with the best of the numbers, with 400 Willow Warblers, 300 Chiffchaffs, 120 Wheatears, 60 Blackcaps, 25 Redstarts, 8 Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Redwings, 3 Fieldfares, 3 Firecrests, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Black Redstarts and ones and twos of all the other expected early April migrants. Passage overhead was dominated by hirundines and finches, with fewer Meadow Pipits passing through than in recent days. The pick of the commoner migrants elsewhere were another couple of Ring Ouzels and Black Redstarts and a Pied Flycatcher at Southwell. Rarity interest was provided by a Wryneck trapped and ringed at the Obs, a Little Ringed Plover and a Serin passing through on the West Cliffs, a Woodlark at Avalanche Road, Southwell, and a Pheasant wandering around the Bill area. Not much attention was paid to the sea, but a short watch at the Bill in the morning produced 15 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Common Scoter, 3 Sandwich Terns, 2 Velvet Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and an Arctic Skua.



  Redstart and Osprey - Portland Bill, April 10th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 11th No repeat of yesterday's good numbers on the ground but still plenty of passage overhead. The Bill area produced 90 Willow Warblers, 25 Wheatears, 20 Chiffchaffs, 20 Blackcaps, 3 Redstarts, 2 Ring Ouzels, a Tree Pipit and a Redwing; overhead there were 750 Swallows, 500 each of Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch, 200 Sand Martins, 40 House Martins and yet another Osprey. A similar sprinkle of common migrants were reported from elsewhere around the island. With the light breeze still blowing offshore the only movement on the sea was of 113 Common Scoter, 18 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Arctic Skuas and 2 Sandwich Terns passing the Bill. April 10th Near-perfect 'fall' conditions at dawn, with a weak weather front having arrived from the north after an otherwise clear night, saw the arrival of another bumper crop of common migrants. Totals from the Bill area included 500 Willow Warblers, 200 Wheatears, 200 Chiffchaffs, 75 Blackcaps, 25 Redstarts, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Song Thrushes, 3 Bramblings, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Fieldfare, a Redwing and a Whitethroat; visible passage was also conspicuous, with 1500 Meadow Pipits, plenty of hirundines and an Osprey passing through. Common migrants were plentiful elsewhere around the island, where oddities included a Barn Owl at Weston, another Osprey passing overhead at Easton, and a scatter of several more Ring Ouzels, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers. The sea provided nothing more than a couple of Red-throated Divers past the Bill. April 9th Much quieter today, with a crystal-clear night and bright, sunny day being less than ideal for dropping migrants in any quantity. The Bill area produced 50 Willow Warblers, 25 Wheatears, 15 Chiffchaffs, 3 Redstarts, a Common Sandpiper, a Short-eared Owl, a Grey Wagtail and a Firecrest, whilst elsewhere an Osprey flew north at the Grove during the morning, a Hobby was over Southwell during the evening, and there were single Yellow Wagtails at Reap Lane and Barleycrates Lane, a White Wagtail and a Grasshopper Warbler at the latter, a Tree Pipit over Weston and a Corn Bunting at Watery Lane; overhead passage was less conspicuous than yesterday, although Swallows were still on the move in good numbers. Two Buzzards - presumably the 2 semi-resident birds that have been roaming the north of the island lately - were seen widely between Southwell and the Verne, and 4 wintering Purple Sandpipers were still at the Bill. Seawatching at the Bill provided totals of 64 Common Scoter, 6 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Sandwich Terns and a miscellany of 5 identified and unidentified divers.



  Willow Warbler - Portland Bill, April 8th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 8th After a quiet start to the month a good arrival of migrants was on the cards and today duly produced the goods. A classic Portland spring day - something sadly lacking during the whole of last spring - saw a good arrival of grounded migrants, some heavy visible passage overhead and a few quality rarities. Grounded migrants in the Bill area totalled 200 Willow Warblers, 100 Blackcaps, 50 Chiffchaffs, 40 Wheatears, 5 Redstarts, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and a Brambling, whilst overhead 500 Meadow Pipits, 500 Linnets, 150 Swallows, 75 Goldfinches, 10 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, a Grey Heron, a Merlin and a Tree Pipit passed through. Rarity interest was provided by an early morning Hoopoe at Southwell that quickly left to the north over the village, a Serin that flew north with Linnets at the Bill, a Hen Harrier that arrived in off the sea over the Bill and an Osprey that flew north-east over the north of the island. April 7th The strong north-west wind had abated somewhat but there was still precious little to see around the island. A fly-over Yellow Wagtail was a first for the year at the Bill, where there were also 5 Wheatears, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest; seawatching there produced 57 Common Scoter, 10 Manx Shearwaters and a Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere the only interest was generated by another instalment in the ongoing Pheasant saga: today one paid a brief visit to a garden in Wakeham. April 6th A really grim day with a blasting north-west wind and frequent showers spoiling any attempts at serious birding. The Serin was reported again at Southwell early in the morning but couldn't be found later in the day. Otherwise the only reports of any interest were of 17 Common Scoter, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Red-throated Divers and a Sandwich Tern passing through off the Bill, and 8 Purple Sandpipers, a Curlew and a Blackcap on the land there.



  Serin - Southwell, April 5th 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 5th The first Serin of the spring - a rather mobile individual at Southwell - was today's highlight; a Redstart at the Bill and a Pied Flycatcher at Avalanche Road were also first records for the spring, whilst a House Martin over the Bill was the first seen since the exceptionally early individuals reported way back in February. Despite these quality new arrivals, common migrants otherwise remained thin on the ground, with a few Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, 3 Swallows, a Grey Heron, a Grey Plover, a Black Redstart, a Blackcap and a Firecrest the only other worthwhile sightings at the Bill. Seawatching there produced 56 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated and 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and an Arctic Skua. April 4th Blustery westerlies and clear skies promised little and delivered even less. Seawatches at the Bill produced 18 Common Scoter, 10 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Sandwich Terns, 3 Red-throated Divers, a Mediterranean Gull, a Great Skua and an Arctic Skua, whilst the land there mustered just a handful of Wheatears, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, 3 passing Swallows and a Black Redstart. The only report from elsewhere was of a Ring Ouzel at Priory Corner. April 3rd Despite the promised wet weather holding off until late in the afternoon, plenty of fieldwork by the weekend visitors failed to reveal much on either the land or sea. Seawatching at the Bill produced 133 Common Scoter, 46 Manx Shearwaters, 36 Sandwich Terns, 7 Red-throated Divers, 2 Eider, a Grey Heron and a Great Skua, whilst the best the land could offer was a Black Redstart and single figure totals of Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest April 2nd Another seawatching day, although with scoter passage reduced to a trickle it seemed a lot quieter than yesterday. Up-Channel passage off the Bill totalled 500 Gannets, 170 Common Scoter, 86 Manx Shearwaters, 56 Sandwich Terns, 14 Arctic Skuas, 12 Red-throated Divers, 6 Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, a Mediterranean Gull and a commic tern. Passage on the land remained at a virtual standstill, with a handful of Wheatears, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Goldcrests, 6 Swallows, 2 Blackcaps, a Fieldfare and a Firecrest at the Bill. Finally, there was a good island rarity in the form of a Pheasant at East Weare (in addition to the remains of a dead individual found several weeks ago at Verne Common, there has evidently been a live bird and the remains of a second dead bird found at that site in the last fortnight, whilst elsewhere one has been been seen on the Beach Road near the oil tanks).




  Common Scoter and Gannets - Portland Bill, April 1st 2004 © Martin Cade

  April 1st All the action was on the sea today, with a heavy passage of Common Scoter and other quality fare off the Bill. Day totals of birds moving east there included 1894 Common Scoter, 50 Teal, 45 Shoveler, 37 Sandwich Terns, 12 Wigeon, 8 Avocets, 6 Red-throated Divers, 6 Garganey, 6 Arctic Skuas, 3 Black-throated Divers, 3 Scaup, 2 Little Gulls, 1 Shelduck, 1 Pintail, 1 Sanderling and 1 Great Skua. The land was again the poor relation, with 3 Firecrests and a Fieldfare being the pick of a meagre bunch at the Bill, and 2 Merlins at Chesil Cove and a Ring Ouzel at Southwell being the only worthwhile sightings elsewhere. A trickle of birds overhead included 110 Meadow Pipits, 6 Sand Martins, a Kestrel, a Swallow and a Grey Wagtail arriving in off the sea at the Bill.