5th April

A rewarding Easter Day that came up with by far the highest species list so far this year. A small drop-out of migrants at the Bill included c170 phylloscs - with Willow Warblers outnumbering Chiffchaffs for the first time this spring - 75 Wheatears, 20 Goldcrests, 15 Blackcaps, 5 Redwings, 4 Firecrests and singles of Snipe and Reed Bunting; a good spread elsewhere included 2 Ring Ouzels at Suckthumb Quarry, 3 White Wagtails at Reap Lane and another Firecrest at Blacknor. As the morning went on hirundines got moving in good quantity with small numbers of Sand Martins and House Martins mingled amongst the steady flow of Swallows, whilst the afternoon came up with some quality overhead when 2 separate Ospreys passed over Portland Harbour. The sea returned variety rather than quantity, with the spring's first records of Arctic Skua (singles off Chesil and the Bill), Bar-tailed Godwit (10 through off the Bill) and Whimbrel (5 off Chesil) providing the best of the interest; 3 Great Crested Grebes through off the Bill and 7 Red-throated Divers and singles of Black-throated Diver and Great Skua off Chesil were also of note, whilst numbers included a few dozen Common Scoter and Manx Shearwaters off both sites.

Firecrest - Portland Bill, 5th April 2015 © Martin Cade