March 2011

31st March

A bit of a migration hiatus seems to have set in, with the close proximity of a variety of weather fronts and their associated wind, rain and fog having all but killed off passerine passage for the time being. The sea did at least provide some interest, with 10 Sandwich Terns, 4 Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater and an Arctic Skua passing through off the Bill, and quite a few Sandwich Terns lingering around Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour. Two Black Redstarts and a Firecrest again provided the only real interest amongst the handful of common migrants grounded at the Bill.



    Robin - Portland Bill, 30th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...we've been tapping into a rich vein of passing Robins just lately: this particularly pallid individual that's presumably heading somewhere well to the north/east was the 30th trapped and ringed at the Obs so far this month (the average March total during the last decade was just 9).

  30th March

After a month when measurable rainfall has been at a premium it was slightly disappointing that a dawn shower and later longer pulses of mainly light rain didn't drop much in the way of new arrivals, with nothing more than a handful of routine migrants grounded at the Bill; 2 Black Redstarts and a long-staying Firecrest were still lingering on there and a single Merlin also arrived in off the sea. Elsewhere there were singles of Sanderling at Ferrybridge and Brambling at Southwell. The spring's first Arctic Skua was an on-cue highlight off the Bill, where 24 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Divers, 4 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver and a Great Skua also passed by.

Another single Diurnea fagella was the only moth of interest in the Obs garden traps this morning.



    Barred Tooth-striped - Portland Bill, 29th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...unfortunately only a rather miserable specimen of what's an unexpected addition to the island moth list.

  29th March

The Hoopoe remained in the Broadcroft Quarry area although judging from reports it seemed to be missing much more frequently than it was being seen. The day's rather sparse selection of grounded common migrants was disappointing given the amount of cloud in the sky at dawn; totals from the Bill area included 40 Chiffchaffs, 30 Wheatears, 20 Willow Warblers, 10 Goldcrests, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Black Redstarts, 2 Firecrests and singles of White Wagtail and Redwing. The only worthwhile reports from the sea were of 4 Brent Geese and a Red-throated Diver through off the Bill.

A Barred Tooth-striped was the pick of the overnight moth catch at the Obs.



    Hoopoe - Broadcroft Quarry, 28th March 2011 © Martin Cade

  28th March

On an otherwise relatively quiet day the pick of the sightings involved a very mobile Hoopoe that showed up in the Broadcroft Quarry area. Overhead passage was a good deal more subdued than in recent days, but did include a few pulses of Wood Pigeons, Meadow Pipits and hirundines - together with singles of Brambling and Siskin - moving through along the West Cliffs, whilst the scatter of grounded migrants included 35 Wheatears, 10 each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, 5 Robins, 3 Black Redstarts, 2 Blackcaps and a Firecrest at the Bill and further singles of Black Redstart at Reap Lane and the Grove. The only seawatch reports were of 8 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver through off the Bill.



    Black Redstart - Portland Bill, 27th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...having dwelt briefly on Black Redstart a couple of days ago we quite enjoyed one of today's birds that nicely illustrated the dangers of rash ageing assumptions based on brief views or less than critical observation. When viewed from the right the presence of a decent white wing panel and apparently adult-like plumage could easily have led to the bird being passed off as an adult on a brief field view; only careful observation would have revealed the apparently anomalous worn, brown juvenile feathers that make up a good part of the wing. When viewed from the left the wing was exactly as would expected for a second calendar year bird:


Whilst some sort of weird asymmetric moult might be a possibility, we'd guess it was much more likely that this second calendar year bird has undergone some sort of accident/trauma that led to the longest tertail, two innermost secondaries and three outermost greater coverts being replaced with next generation, adult-like feathers on just one wing.




  27th March

Another steady little arrival of new birds today, with a scatter of 10 Black Redstarts - including 7 at the Bill - being particularly noteworthy. Numbers at the Bill included 75 Wheatears, 20 Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warblers, 7 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Firecrests, a Water Rail, a Merlin, a White Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail and a Siskin, together with a trickle of Meadow Pipits and hirundines overhead; elsewhere there were 4 Sandwich Terns in Portland Harbour and a Golden Plover passed over at Nicodemus Knob. Some uneventful seawatching at the Bill produced 5 Common Scoter, 3 Sandwich Terns and singles of Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull.

Late news for yesterday: we've received a report of a Hoopoe at Southwell but as yet no full details as to the circumstances or a more precise location for the sighting.




    Robins and Diurnea fagella - Portland Bill, 26th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...there's been quite a bit of Robin passage underway at the Bill in recent days (mainly revealed by the capture of new birds in the Obs garden mist-nets) and - as shown rather strikingly by today's duo - it looks like their ultimate destinations are quite varied. Since Diurnea fagella is a moth of deciduous woodland it's likely to be just a vagrant at the Bill (although Duncan Walbridge's occasional captures of the species at the Grove hint that it may be resident in that slightly better-wooded area). The present writer has occasion to remember the only other record of the species at the Bill since it involved several individuals attracted to the Obs lounge windows on the very first night he was employed by the Obs in early March 1989; the obvious assumption that the species was a previously overlooked resident there proved wide of the mark since it's taken 22 years for any more to appear!

  26th March

Quiet weather still but with a good deal more cloud in the sky than in recent days. Grounded migrants remained at the 'ticking-over' level, with a few of everything that would be expected but nothing in quantity: the best on offer at the Bill were 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Firecrests, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Black Redstarts and a Brambling, whilst elsewhere there were singles of Redstart at Reap Lane and Black Redstart at Tout Quarry. Overhead passage continued, with a sample 75 minute count on the West Cliffs at the Bill producing 390 Meadow Pipits, 135 Linnets, 15 Wood Pigeons, 13 Wood Pigeons, 3 Wheatears, 3 Sand Martins, 2 Chaffinches and a Redwing. Seawatch reports included 3 Teal through off Chesil and 24 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Shelduck and a Red-throated Diver through off the Bill.

Three Diurnea fagella - the first record of the species there since 1989 - were the pick of the overnight moth catch at the Obs.



    One of the day's Firecrests getting some scrutiny from Paul Leader and Alan Harris - Portland Bill, 25th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...among the day's other birds this adult male Black Redstart at Reap Lane was a nice highlight (photo © Pete Saunders):

Ageing Black Redstarts that look like this bird shouldn't be too troublesome as similarly-plumaged second calendar year individuals (the so-called paradoxus morph) don't usually have much of a white wing-panel and retain worn brown juvenile flight feathers and all bar a few greater coverts, like this bird at Southwell in April 2006 (photo © Martin Cade):

Some of the other chats aren't so straightforward, particularly those like Wheatear and Whinchat that go through some degree of pre-breeding moult. That said, today's trapped female Wheatear was a relatively straightforward second calendar year individual ((photo © Martin Cade):


A presence of a single tail feather replaced after accidental loss did show rather nicely the difference between juvenile and adult feathers there, whilst the wing contained a mish-mash of three generations of feathers (worn brown juvenile feathers eg the flight feathers; less worn brownish-black post-juvenile feathers eg most of the greater coverts; fresh glossy black pre-breeding feathers eg a couple of the greater and median coverts).


  25th March

Another lovely, fine day and another steady arrival of incoming migrants. Things were rather quieter on the ground than in recent days with, for example, just 15 Wheatears, 10 Chiffchaffs and 6 Goldcrests making up the bulk of the numbers at the Bill, but overhead a more or less constant throughput of birds included a sample count of 600 Meadow Pipits and 100 Sand Martins arriving in off the sea in 2 hours at the Bill. Morsels of interest amongst the quantity included 2 Grey Herons, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Firecrests, a Redwing and a Redstart at the Bill, a Black Redstart and a Siskin at Reap Lane and 2 Shelducks at Ferrybridge. The day's seawatch reports included 142 Common Scoter, 6 Velvet Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Skua through off the Bill.



    Cormorants arriving in off the sea over the West Cliffs - Portland Bill, 24th March 2011 © Martin Cade

  24th March

Not much changing at the moment, with the constantly clear skies and brisk north-easterly breeze producing another steady arrival of routine migrants. Meadow Pipits and Sand Martins again dominated the continuing visible passage, with a sample couple of hours on the West Cliffs at the Bill returning totals of 630 Meadow Pipits, 46 Sand Martins, 35 Linnets, 30 Wood Pigeons, 15 alba wagtails, 8 Wheatears, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Cormorants, 2 Swallows and a White Wagtail heading north. The grounded (...although few things were actually grounded for long) totals from the Bill area included 75 Wheatears, 75 Chiffchaffs, 5 Redwings, 3 Fieldfares, 2 Firecrests, 2 Bramblings, a Ring Ouzel and a Blackcap whilst the seawatchers there came up with 137 Common Scoter, 5 Brent Geese, 2 Curlews, 2 Sandwich Terns and a Red-throated Diver.




    A couple more photos from yesterday: Common Buzzard and Dunnock - Southwell and Portland Bill, 22nd March 2011 © Pete Saunders (Buzzard) and Max Seaford (Dunnock)

  23rd March

An increase in the strength of the north-easterly wind made all the difference today and dropped a pretty constant inbound movement of mainly Meadow Pipits and hirundines down to visible height (...are they moving so high on windless days like yesterday that we don't see them, or are they just not moving at all in those conditions?). Sample counts of passage at the Bill during the morning included 255 Meadow Pipits through in 45 minutes, and later 350 Meadow Pipits, 50 Wood Pigeons, 50 Linnets, 25 Sand Martins, 8 Pied Wagtails, 3 White Wagtails and a Siskin through in 2 hours. Grounded migrants at the Bill included 120 Wheatears, 50 Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrests, a Black Redstart, a Fieldfare and a Goldcrest. Seawatch reports included 32 Common Scoter and a skua sp through off the Bill.

The first Red Admiral of the year was on the wing at the Bill.

Finally, the many Obs visitors who remember our old friend and long-time Obs member, Chris Cook, might be interested in checking out the new noticeboard page to have a read of an e-mail we received from him today.



    Treecreeper - Portland Bill, 22nd March 2011 © Martin Cade

  22nd March

The continuing very fine weather more than made up for the fact that yesterday's flurry of new arrivals wasn't sustained, with a Treecreeper that showed up in the Obs garden being the day's only real surprise. The clear conditions didn't look likely to drop much in the way of common migrants and, the trickle of passing hirundines and pipits aside, the only entries on the day-sheet concerned 15 Wheatears, 3 Firecrests, 2 Redwings, a Black Redstart, a Goldcrest and a Redpoll at the Bill and a Fieldfare at Barleycrates Lane. The only seawatch reports were of 11 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and a Curlew passing though off the Bill.

The first Small Whites of the year were on the wing at Weston.

21st March

A misty dawn soon gave way to almost summery conditions through the rest of the day. At the Bill a nice - albeit entirely predictable - selection of grounded common migrants included 50 Chiffchaffs, 25 Wheatears, 10 each of Robin and 10 Goldcrest, 5 Redwings, 4 Firecrests, 3 each of Golden Plover and White Wagtail and singles of Lapwing, Curlew, Fieldfare, Black Redstart and Redpoll; also there a steady incoming passage of pipits and hirundines included a half-hour sample count of 160 Meadow Pipits, 9 Sand Martins and 9 Swallows. The only particularly worthwhile report from elsewhere was of a Merlin through at Ferrybridge. The sea produced easily the best of the day's sightings in the form of 2 Slavonian Grebes settled off the Bill; 2 more Slavonian Grebes were in Portland Harbour, whilst 13 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Mediterranean Gull passed through off the Bill.

Finally, we've launched a new page on the site with news and announcements for Obs members; click here to visit this noticeboard page which will in future replace our printed newsletters.




    Ring Ouzel and Silver Y - Portland Bill, 20th March 2011 © Pete Saunders (Ring Ouzel) and Martin Cade (Silver Y)

  20th March

An overcast start to the day failed to deliver much in the way of an arrival of migrants and soon gave way to more clear skies and warm sunshine. Singles of Ring Ouzel and House Martin were both on-cue first records for the year at the Bill, from where the other noteworthy report of a party of 3 overflying Yellow Wagtails was altogether more exceptional and constitutes one of the earliest ever records there. The rest of migrant tally there consisted of just 5 Wheatears, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Golden Plovers, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Yellowhammers and singles of White Wagtail, Goldcrest and Firecrest on the land and 19 Common Scoter, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Skuas through on the sea.

The first Silver Y of the year was the pick of the overnight catch in the Obs garden moth-traps.

19th March

The lovely fine, sunny conditions were no doubt the main reason behind routine migrants being distinctly under-represented on the day's list from the Bill, where there were 4 Turnstones, 3 Wheatears, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Goldcrests and singles of Purple Sandpiper, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff and Firecrest on the land and 8 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Mallard through on the sea.

At least 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins headed north off the East Cliffs at the Bill during the morning.

18th March

A drizzly and uninspiringly birdless start to the day gave way to a resoundingly wet late morning when migrants, particularly Meadow Pipits, begun streaming in off the sea at the Bill; in dry and clearer conditions during the afternoon it became evident that the few birds that actually dropped in during the rain left very quickly. A sample count of the pipit passage from the shelter of the Obs came up with a total just shy of 2000 moving through in two and a half hours; 250 Wood Pigeons and 55 alba wagtails (almost exclusively Pieds) also passed through during this period, whilst 3 Robins in off the sea at the Bill tip, 2 fly-through Golden Plovers and a steady proccession of arriving Lesser Black-backed Gulls provided further interest. Other odds and ends logged through at the day at the Bill included 10 Chiffchaffs, 9 Redwings, 6 Goldcrests, 5 Wheatears, 2 Curlew, a Water Rail, a Swallow, a White Wagtail and a Brambling.

Finally, today is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Portland Bird Observatory in its current home at the Old Lower Light (there were previous incarnations of PBO as an 'official' accredited bird observatory in other premises at the Bill but these were perhaps sufficiently insalubrious as to be best forgotten). To mark this anniversary we'd planned to upload a little page of photographs from that bygone era but, as so often happens, this grew larger than we'd imagined and eventually it seemed easier to construct the beginnings of an archive of photographs depicting the history of the Obs; click here to have a look. In the first instance we've concentrated on photographs from the past, although we have taken the opportunity to include a page depicting the recent construction of our agricultural implement shed.



    Redwing - Portland Bill, 17th March 2011 © Martin Cade

  17th March

A misty, murky dawn was enough to ground a small arrival of thrushes with, for example, 63 Redwings and 2 Fieldfares logged at the Bill, but other migrants were disappointingly thinly spread. The Hoopoe remained at the Bill, but otherwise the day's tally from there consisted of just 10 Chiffchaffs, 5 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Wheatears, 4 Turnstones, a Golden Plover, a Black Redstart, a Goldcrest and a Brambling on the land and 9 Brent Geese, 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Black-headed Gull and Mediterranean Gull through on the sea.



    Goldcrest - Portland Bill, 16th March 2011 © Martin Cade

...bearing in mind the severity of at least the early part of last winter it's been pleasing to see a few Goldcrests - presumably long-distance migrants that wintered well out of harm's way - passing through in recent days (last spring there was just a single record at the Bill and after the notoriously severe 1962-63 winter none at all were recorded in spring 1963). 

Distinguishing the calls of Goldcrest and Firecrest seems to tax a lot of visitors but they're worth persisting with since they're surprisingly different if heard well; click here to listen to one of today's Goldcrests, and here to listen to a Firecrest from a couple of years ago. The stronger, harsher and initially lower pitched calls of Firecrest are quite distinctive, and the sonograms of these two sequences also show the constant pitch of the Goldcrest calls vs the slightly rising pitch and acceleration of the Firecrest calls:

  16th March

Still fine and still rather too breezy. The Hoopoe remained at the Bill where, at least through the morning, it was quite a bit more mobile and elusive than it had been in recent days. Commoner migrants weren't numerous there but did include10 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wheatears, 4 Goldcrests, a Black Redstart and a Brambling, whilst 3 Purple Sandpipers were also still present.






    Odds and ends from recent days: Firecrest, Hoopoe, Red-breasted Merganser and Wheatear - Portland Bill and Ferrybridge, March 2011 © Martin Cade (Firecrest and Hoopoe), Pete Saunders (Red-breasted Merganser) and Debby Saunders (Wheatear)

  15th March

Another fine day although the chilly easterly breeze remained a constant minor irritation. The Hoopoe remained for another day at the Bill but the main feature of proceedings there was the overhead passage of arriving Meadow Pipits - together with a few alba wagtails and a handful of Sand Martins and Swallows - which continued apace, with counts into the low hundreds per hour reported through the morning from the West Cliffs. Grounded migrants were not so plentiful there but did include 10 Wheatears, 10 Chiffchaffs, 2 Black Redstarts, a Redwing and a Firecrest.

14th March

A frosty start and a freshening easterly breeze slightly took the edge off what was otherwise a pleasantly fine day. The Hoopoe remained at the Bill where grounded migrants included 20 Wheatears, 8 Chiffchaffs, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Redwings, 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Firecrests and singles of Merlin, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer, whilst overhead a steady incoming passage included a sample 45 minute count of 124 Meadow Pipits, 9 Chaffinches and a Swallow heading north along the West Cliffs. Seawatching there produced 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Common Scoter and a Black-throated Diver.




    Little Owl and White Wagtail - The Grove and Portland Bill, 13th March 2011 © Paul Baker (Little Owl) and Martin Cade (White Wagtail)

  13th March

A lovely fine day once some overnight mist and drizzle had cleared away shortly after dawn. The Hoopoe and Firecrest remained at the Bill where the day's common migrant tally included 12 Wheatears, 10 Chiffchaffs, 3 White Wagtails, a Fieldfare and a Reed Bunting; singles of Barn Owl, Long-tailed Tit and Yellowhammer also made the list there, whilst a lighter scatter of routine common migrants was evident elsewhere around the island. Sea passage dwindled to the extent that nothing more than 3 Common Scoter, 3 Black-headed Gulls and a Red-throated Diver passed through off the Bill.

The first Comma of the year was on the wing at Church Ope Cove.





    Hoopoe and Firecrest - Portland Bill, 12th March 2011 © Brett Spencer (Hoopoe) and Martin Cade (Firecrest)

  12th March

A brisk south-easterly and a flurry of interest on land and sea today. A Hoopoe that was spotted flying south over Top Fields at midday and settled around the Bill tip for the afternoon provided the highlight, whilst the back-up cast included a Red Kite over the north of the island early in the afternoon, the first Firecrest of the year at the Bill and 9 Velvet Scoter and 5 Teal - with any luck the vanguard of some early spring wildfowl passage - passing through off the Bill. The common migrant tally was distinctly thin but did include 3 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs and singles of White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail and Goldcrest at the Bill, where the 2 wintering Black Redstarts were also still present. Routine sea passage at the Bill included 13 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Divers and a Curlew passing by.

11th March

In much quieter conditions there was plenty of coverage of the Bill area that produced totals of 8 Stonechats, 6 Purple Sandpipers, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Black Redstarts, 2 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs and singles of Water Rail, White Wagtail, Redwing and Reed Bunting on the land, a light trickle of alba wagtails arriving in off the sea, a single Puffin again settled close inshore for a little while early in the morning and 118 Kittiwakes (a one hour count of birds seemingly on the move up-Channel), 16 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Divers and a Dunlin through on the sea.




    Merlin - Portland Bill, 10th March 2011 © Pete Saunders

  10th March

With yesterday's breeze having freshened to half a gale birding on the land was hard work, but did produce 5 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones, 3 Wheatears, 2 Black Redstarts, a Merlin and a White Wagtail at the Bill and 4 Shelduck at Ferrybridge. Offshore, there was a steady but unquantified up-Channel movement of Gannets, Fulmars, Common Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and auks off the Bill, where 8 Common Scoter and 5 Red-throated Divers also passed through.

9th March

Breezier but still fine and mild today. The day's highlight came in the form of a Spoonbill passing over Portland Harbour during the afternoon; new arrivals/passing migrants were otherwise restricted to a couple more Wheatears grounded at the Bill, 5 alba wagtails and a Grey Wagtail heading north over the Bill and 10 Red-throated Divers and 4 Brent Geese passing by off the Bill. The only other reports were of 2 Chiffchaffs still at the Bill and singles of Black Redstart still at the Bill and Portland Castle.



    Wheatear - Portland Bill, 8th March 2011 © Martin Cade

  8th March

A lovely fine, mild day with what breeze there was finally edging into the south-west. The first 4 Wheatears of the year were a welcome sight at the Bill, where other migrants included 8 Stonechats scattered on the land and 13 Red-throated Divers through on the sea; 2 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Black Redstarts and a Chiffchaff were also still present there. The fair weather resulted in plenty of coverage of other island sites from where new arrivals included 2 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest at Portland Castle.

The first Small Tortoiseshell of the year was on the wing at Southwell.

7th March

The keen easterly remained a feature for yet another day and the only reports were of a Golden Plover heading north over the Bill, a Black Redstart at Reap Lane, 10 Mediterranean Gulls lingering off the Bill and 4 Common Scoter and 3 Red-throated Divers passing through on the sea there.

6th March

Another cold, windy morning kept coverage of the land to a minimum and all the worthwhile reports were from the seawatchers at the Bill, where 30 or more Mediterranean Gulls and an unidentified skua (thought most likely to be a Pomarine) were lingering offshore and 13 Common Scoter, 10 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and a Velvet Scoter passed by.

5th March

Dreary and still feeling really chilly today. Despite the unfavourable conditions there were a few new arrivals at the Bill, notably a Gadwall settled offshore, some extra grounded Pied Wagtails, Redwings and Stonechats and a handful of alba wagtails arriving in off the sea; 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Turnstones and 2 Black Redstarts were also still present there.




Black Brant and Red-breasted Merganser - Ferrybridge, 4th March 2011 © Pete Saunders

  4th March

After an even sharper frost than yesterday a gradual reduction in the strength of the north-easterly saw it feeling a good deal more pleasant by the afternoon. Singles of Merlin and Siskin were new arrivals at the Bill, from where the only other report was of a Black Redstart still present. Elsewhere there was a Grey Wagtail at Southwell and 86 Mediterranean Gulls, a Black Brant and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Ferrybridge.

3rd March

The one redeeming feature of the current relatively birdless spell is that it's allowed plenty of time to get on with decorating/maintenance at the Obs (although - and apologies to Obs members for this - those ongoing jobs have meant that progress with last year's annual report has been slower that we'd have liked). The sight for the first time in several weeks of ice on the Obs pond at dawn was a sure sign that migrant interest was going to be minimal, and the day's only sightings of any note were of routine winterers: 4 Purple Sandpipers and a Chiffchaff at the Bill and 2 Common Scoter settled on the sea there.

2nd March

In a repeat of yesterday's conditions the chill and gloom of dawn was eventually replaced by blue skies and pleasant sunshine during the afternoon. At the Bill 6 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter and a Red-throated Diver passed by on the sea, 2 Purple Sandpipers and a Black Redstart were still present and a lone Lapwing was a new arrival on the land.

1st March

A quiet start to the month with the blue skies that arrived during the afternoon taking the edge off the otherwise still chilly north-easterly. A Kestrel that arrived in off the sea at the Bill was the only obvious new migrant of the day, with the only other noteworthy sightings there being of 2 Black Redstarts and a Rook on the land and 4 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver through on the sea.