8th April

Migrant interest shifted toward increasing variety rather than sheer numbers as the fine weather continued and the lack of any sort of headwind likely saw to it that things weren't bothering to drop in for a break as they arrived over the coast. Ring Ouzel was the day's feature species, with a notable influx throughout the island that included 12 in the Verne Hill area, 4 at the Bill and 2 at Suckthumb Quarry; the season's first Grasshopper Warbler - in song at Suckthumb Quarry - was also an on-cue arrival, but uncommon migrants otherwise didn't get much beyond the level of singles of Black Redstart and Firecrest at the Bill, another Little Ringed Plover arriving over Chesil and several White Wagtails and Redstarts dotted about. Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all got up around the 100 mark on the ground at the Bill, where visible passage was dominated by high-ish three figure totals of Meadow Pipit and Linnet, but fewer hirundines than might have been expected; late in the day another Osprey passed over Ferrybridge. The sea was disappointing, with what easterly breeze there was perhaps being just too light; Common Scoters totalled 95 off the Bill and 74 off Chesil, but a Tufted Duck off the latter was the only even slightly out of the ordinary migrant.

The year's first Holly Blue and Clouded Yellow butterflies were on the wing at Barleycrates Lane and the Bill respectively.

Ring Ouzel - Portland Bill, 8th April 2015 © Martin Cade