23rd April

It was a case of all change today with attention switching firmly from land to sea, and even then it took a bit of good fortune/perseverance to pick up the rewards: to the disappointment of observers arriving to tap into a bit of yesterday's action there was next to nothing by way of grounded migrants, whilst the best of the sea passage defied conventional wisdom by occurring when least expected during the most persistent of the day's rain. The passerine migrant tally was so paltry in comparison with recent days that it really doesn't merit a mention, however the sea came up the goods, particularly through the middle of the day when a rain front spanning the Channel drove a series of skuas close to the Bill. The pick of the days numbers were 130 commic terns, 42 Great Skuas, 8 Arctic Skuas, 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Black-throated Divers, 2 Pomarine Skuas and a Little Tern past the Bill and 190 commic terns, 65 Whimbrel, 33 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Great Skuas, 4 Little Gulls and singles of Red-throated Divers, Arctic Skua and Pomarine Skua through at Chesil; additionally, a Little Gull passed through at Ferrybridge and an Iceland Gull - looking likely to be the lingerer that's been missing for a few days - patrolling along East Cliffs at the Bill for several hours.

Click the above image to enlarge

Iceland Gull, Arctic Skua and Great Skuas - Portland Bill, 23rd April 2014 © Martin Cade (Iceland Gull and top two skuas) and Joe Stockwell (bottom two skuas)

...and a bit of video that gives something of a flavour of the skua passage off the Bill: