6th May

The sea stole most of the attention again today, with the continuing easterly breeze ensuring there was no shortage of expectation even if the rewards were pretty hard won. In contrast to points eastward, an easterly/north-easterly and clear skies isn't usually the best for skuas so the day total of 15 Pomarine Skuas (all were seen off the Bill, with a flock of 8 first being spotted off Chesil) wasn't to be sniffed at. The highlights from the two watchpoints otherwise included 74 commic terns, 3 each of Great Northern Diver, Black Tern and Arctic Skua, 2 Little Terns and a Roseate Tern off the Bill, and 220 commic terns, 18 Grey Plover, 7 Black Terns, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Coot off Chesil. With the exception of a late afternoon Osprey heading south over Weston there was hardly a bird worth a mention on/over the land, with pitiful numbers of grounded migrants and a steady but unspectacular passage of mainly hirundines overhead.

The year's first Red Admiral was on the wing in the Obs garden.

Coot - off Chesil Beach, 6th May 2016 © Martin Cade

...always a quality record at Portland(!); we can't think of any obvious reason why a Coot should be drifting past Chesil in early May, but then again Nick Hopper's nocturnal recording sessions have drawn attention to the fact that both Coot and Moorhen seem to be on the move at some most unexpected times of year.