2nd April

It seemed as though being sandwiched between bands of rain both to the west and the east wasn't doing Portland any favours today, with numbers and variety on the ground, overhead and on the sea not reaching anything like the sort of level that might be hoped now that a southerly airflow has replaced the cool easterly that has been established for so long. The Bill got the best of the passerine coverage and came up trumps with a Serin that put in a brief appearance at the Obs, but commoner migrants weren't at all well represented: on the ground Goldcrest came out tops on a lowly 20, whilst the thinner spread of Wheatears, Blackcaps and phylloscs included no better less common species than 3 Firecrests and 2 Short-eared Owls - hardly any of which were actually new. Numerically, visible passage was stronger although hardly a big deal when the likes of Swallow and Sand Martin didn't get anywhere near a three figure total on a clear day. Chesil provided easily the best of the seawatching, with 57 Sandwich Terns, 2 Teal, an Arctic Skua and the first Common Tern of the year the highlights.

Firecrest and Peregrine - Portland Bill, 2nd April 2016 © Martin Cade (Firecrest) and Roger Hewitt (Peregrine)

The Serin put in a sufficiently close to subliminal visit that it escaped the attention of a camera; however, Nick Hopper's sound recording gear was still in situ (...more to follow later on the results from Nick's last two nocturnal sessions) and nailed it as whizzed over the Obs: