4th May

A day of unbroken sunshine although at times the south-easterly breeze did still have a slightly keen edge to it. The onset of anticyclonic conditions knocked the numbers of grounded migrants right on the head but there was nice compensation in the form of a passing Red-rumped Swallow (along West Cliffs at the Bill) and, with a bit of effort, the sea had some reasonable returns. Although a Turtle Dove was a welcome sight at Avalanche Road, it was the Bill that got most of the land coverage: double figure totals of even the commonest migrants were hard to come by and, a Short-eared Owl and a Black Redstart aside, there were few surprises amongst the smattering of less frequent species. Visible passage was nowhere near as heavy as might have been expected but, in addition to the Red-rumped Swallow, there were a few surprises in the form of a Hen Harrier through off the Bill and a total of 15 Cormorants arriving from the south there. The sea was always worth a look, with 560 commic terns, 36 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Pomarine Skuas, 3 Great Skuas, 2 Roseate Terns, an Arctic Skua and a Black Tern the best off Chesil and 190 commic terns, 68 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Grey Plover, 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Great Skuas, a Little Gull and a Roseate Tern the pick from the Bill.

A Clouded Yellow was on the wing at Blacknor.

Great Northern Diver, Gannets, Whimbrel, Great Skua, Wheatear, Redstart and Black Redstart - Portland Bill, Chesil Beach and Southwell, 4th May 2016 © Keith Pritchard (GNDiver), Mike Trew (Gannets and Wheatear), Angela Trew (Whimbrel), Joe Stockwell joe-stockwell.blogspot (Great Skua), Nick Stantiford (Redstart) and Paul Chandler Cholsey Wildlife (Black Redstart)