5th March

Lots of fieldwork today although the conditions were really far too nice for there to be an expectation of significant numbers. It was again only the earliest, short-distance migrants that featured overhead and on the ground, with the likes of Meadow Pipits and alba wagtails trickling north along West Cliffs, an arrival of at least 8 new Stonechats at the Bill and a likely new Black Redstart at Blacknor; the sea came up with 6 Brent Geese, 4 Greylag Geese, a Great Crested Grebe and a Velvet Scoter off Chesil and 4 Red-throated Divers and 3 Shelducks through off the Bill. Coverage otherwise revealed most of the long-stayers still in situ, including the Black Redstart and Blackcap at the Bill, the Hooded Crow at the Grove pig farm, the Black Redstart at Portland Castle and the Black Guillemot off Portland Castle.

Stonechats and Common Buzzard - Portland Bill, 5th March 2015 © Martin Cade (Stonechats) and Ken Dolbear (Buzzard)
...the buzzard is a juvenile - presumably a local-bred bird - that we'd previously featured when it was trapped and ringed on 30th October last year:
...it's been knocking around all winter and, as in Ken's photograph of it today, has developed a bit of a penchant for perching on the electric poles beside the Obs Quarry.