8th April

Sadly, there were precious few hints today of passage getting back in the groove: the sparse spread on the ground was disappointing given the clear skies and brisk north-westerly headwind, whilst diurnal passage was pitiful weak; only the sea provided numbers with another nice evening movement of Manx Shearwaters. The tally of grounded arrivals at the Bill included 20 Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warbler, 3 Redstarts, 3 Blackcaps, a Black Redstart and no more than a measly single Wheatear, whilst wintering lingerers there included 2 Short-eared Owls and 2 Firecrests; the only worthwhile reports from elsewhere were of a Siskin at Wakeham and 26 Sandwich Terns, 16 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and a Sanderling at Ferrybridge. Overhead passage didn't get going at all, with 2 Canada Geese over Weston and a Yellow Wagtail over the Bill the only birds of note amongst the lightest of trickles of Meadow Pipits and hirundines. The Manx Shearwater tally off the Bill got to around 750 by dusk, with singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe and Great Skua through there as well; a single Great Northern Diver passed over at Ferrybridge, with singles also still settled there and in the Portland Harbour, whilst the harbour also held a lone Black-throated Diver.

Kestrel, Shelducks, Raven and Short-eared Owl - Ferybridge and Portland Bill, 8th April 2016 © Debby Saunders (Kestrel), Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot (Shelducks) and Allan Reese (Raven and SEOwl)