21st March

With the chilly breeze and dreary skies of the weekend replaced by pleasant sunshine there was a lot more incentive to get out, even if the rewards were still scant. The sea returned the best of the quality, with 24 Common Scoter, 12 Black-headed Gulls, 8 Garganey, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Shoveler, a Greylag Goose and a Sandwich Tern through of Chesil and 6 of the Garganey, together with 57 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and a Curlew, through off the Bill. Grounded migrants/lingering winterers included 25 Wheatears, 8 Chiffchaffs, 5 Redwings, 4 Goldcrests, 3 Short-eared Owls, 3 Black Redstarts, 2 Water Rails and 2 Firecrests at the Bill and a Siskin at Avalanche, but visible passage was surprisingly slow, with little more than a light trickle of Meadow Pipits and 4 Chaffinches over the Bill.

The first Small White butterflies of the year were on the wing at Barleycrates Lane and Reap Lane.

Little Owls, Black Redstart and Wheatear - Portland Bill, 22nd March 2016 © Mike Trew