3rd April

The first day this year with far too much for everything to get a mention. A gradual breaking down of the recent largely fair weather as showery rain eased in across the Channel saw a varied arrival of migrants, a fair bit of visible passage and enough to maintain interest on the sea. A Wryneck trapped and ringed soon after dawn at the Obs stole the show (...after escaping attention for the rest of the day it popped up again just before dark), but there was good back up in the form of 7 Ring Ouzels (5 at Avalanche Road and 2 at the Bill), an Osprey in off the sea at Chesil and first records for the year of Arctic Tern (5 through off the Bill), Redstart (at least 5 around the south of the island) and Whitethroat (1 at the Bill). The fall of routine migrants was dominated by phylloscs which were well spread if not actually that numerous, whilst the likes of 9 Firecrests, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 White Wagtails and a Short-eared Owl provided interest around the south of the island. Visible passage was steady if unspectacular, with a one hour count at Tout Quarry late in the afternoon that came up with 70 Linnets, 50 Swallows, 15 Sand Martins and 3 House Martins looking to be a representative sample of what was on the move. The tally from sea coverage included 85 Common Scoter, 4 Common Terns, a Red-throated Diver and an Arctic Skua (together with a settled Slavonian Grebe) off Chesil and 92 Common Scoter, 75 Sandwich Terns, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Little Gulls and singles of Red-throated Diver and Yellow-legged Gull (together with the first Puffin of the spring) off the Bill.

Ring Ouzels and Wryneck - Avalanche Road and Portland Bill, 3rd April 2016 © Roger Hewitt (Ring Ouzel still), Simon Craft (Wryneck still) and Martin Cade (Ring Ouzel and Wryneck videos)

...and it was nice to get - amongst what was only a pretty small catch of common migrants at the Obs - another 'control'; this time it was a Blackcap: