15th March

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 18th March.

Yesterday's quiet, heavily overcast conditions persisted and dropped slightly better numbers of migrants. Numbers-wise, Chiffchaffs dominated at the Bill where a good proportion of the 50 or so logged dropped in through the afternoon; 5 Wheatears, 3 Redwings, 2 Blackcaps and singles of Merlin, Redshank and Goldcrest were also new in, whilst 2 Black Redstarts, a Short-eared Owl and a Bullfinch were still about. Sea passage was almost non-existent, with singles of Common Scoter and Great Skua the only things worth a mention off the Bill.

The mild, still conditions resulted in some good catches of moths, with the 43 individuals in one trap at the Grove an exceptional total for early spring (many typical early year species such as the Orthosias are far from numerous at Portland); migrant interest consisted of 12 Diamond-back Moth, 6 Rush Veneer and 3 Dark Sword Grass at the Obs and 3 Diamond-back Moth at the Grove.

This Redshank was one of the better newcomers of the day at the Bill © Roger Hewitt:

The nice male Black Redstart was still about at the Bill Quarry © Roger Hewitt...

...where marauding Sparrowhawks have become a regular feature just recently © Keith Pritchard: