7th March

A chilly but fair day came up with the best species list of the year to date that included a typically miscellaneous selection of seasonable oddities. First records for the year at the Bill (as opposed to all-island, from where two have already clocked up records) included singles of Grey Wagtail, Fieldfare and Yellowhammer, whilst a Merlin showed up along the Beach Road, 2 Wigeon passed through off Chesil and the Avalanche Woodlarks lingered on. Meadow Pipits and alba wagtails continued to trickle in overhead, with the likes of a Redwing also through over the Bill, but grounded arrivals consisted of little more than one or two extra Chiffchaffs and 2 more Great Tits at the Bill; sea passage included 68 Black-headed Gulls off Chesil and 20 Common Scoter and 6 Red-throated Divers off the Bill. Given the pretty chilly conditions it probably wasn't a surprise that many winterers continued to linger on, with 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Firecrests and singles of Water Rail, Purple Sandpiper and Chiffchaff all still about at the Bill.