16th March

An entertaining day saw murkiness overhead drop another good arrival of Chiffchaffs - amongst which there were also several early firsts for the year - whilst overhead Meadow Pipits were arriving in quantity for the first time this spring. With meaningful coverage limited to a handful of observers it was only the Bill area that was well worked; Chiffchaffs got to around the 200 mark on the ground, whilst overflying Meadow Pipits likely got into four figures although with many flocks audible but not visible in the fog it was impossible to be more accurate. The back-up cast was varied and included 20 Wheatears, 4 Swallows and singles of Golden Plover, Curlew, Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, Redwing, Black Redstart, Willow Warbler and Yellowhammer; elsewhere, a Yellow Wagtail overhead at Blacknor was only one day off equalling Portland's earliest record, whilst the Hume's Warbler was still at Thumb Lane.

After yesterday's excesses, moth numbers were lower overnight with immigrants consisting of 7 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Rush Veneer and 2 Dark Sword Grass at the Obs and the year's first Silver Y at the Grove.

Although there have been some earlier field records we think that this morning's Willow Warbler is the earliest ever trapped and ringed at the Obs © Martin Cade:

Although youngsters are trapped relatively often it's much more unusual for us to handle a full adult male Sparrowhawk; since it wasn't already ringed it'll be a fair bet that it isn't a local bird either © Martin Cade: