14th May

Visitors to the island will be aware of the Little Tern breeding colony at Ferrybridge and of the recent success of wardening efforts in consolidating the tern's tenuous foothold there. Morgan Vaughan, this year's summer tern warden, is keen to enlist the help of more volunteers who are able to spare some time to ensure this trend continues. Morgan is holding a meeting for potential volunteers at the Chesil Beach Centre at 7pm tomorrow, Thursday 15th May - please come along and find out how you can help with wardening South-west England's only Little Tern colony.
There was another nice little arrival of late migrants today when nothing more than a moderate headwind dropped a steady succession of newcomers out of a clear blue sky. The centre and south of the island were well-covered and returned totals of 50-60 each of Wheatear, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, 40 Spotted Flycatchers, 30 Whinchats and 12 Yellow Wagtails, with 2 Pied Flycatchers and a Turtle Dove featuring amongst a varied back-up cast. Although other areas were not so well covered it was evident that there was a good spread of arrivals everywhere, with a Nightingale and Pied Flycatcher at Blacknor and 10 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts and a Pied Flycatcher at Portland Castle of particular note. The conditions were also conducive for another good throughput of hirundines, with a sample one hour count on West Cliffs coming up with 777 Swallows, 148 House Martins and a handful of Swifts and Sand Martins. Conventional seawatching was a dead loss but odds and ends making the list from occasional cursory looks at the sea at the Bill included 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Knot, 2 Sanderling, a Great Northern Diver and a Great Skua.