25th March

In terms of numbers and variety on the ground it remained extremely quiet, although there was more than a suggestion from events overhead that migrants were on the move in some quantity - perhaps the nocturnal arrivals are just going straight over? At the Bill the total of 20 Wheatears represented the only numbers on the ground; Chiffchaffs were almost non-existent, Blackcaps limited to a single at Southwell and 2 Black Redstarts, a White Wagtail and a Firecrest constituted the rather sorry tally of oddities. Overhead it was a different story, with the sample one hour count of 224 Meadow Pipits, 7 Linnets, 6 Pied Wagtails, 6 Greenfinches, 4 Sand Martins and 2 Skylarks heading north along West Cliffs being representative of the steady passage going on throughout the morning; a Red Kite that appeared over Suckthumb Quarry may well also have been a migrant as opposed to a wanderer from the mainland. The sea came up with little more than 2 Red-throated Divers through off the Bill, although both the Black Guillemot and Iceland Gull remained at Portland Harbour and Chesil Cove/Ferrybridge respectively.
Finally, a reminder that the next In Focus field event at the Obs takes place between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 29th March.

Purple Sandpiper - Portland Bill, 25th March 2014 © Will Bown