4th March

In bright and breezy conditions migrant interest consisted of little more than single new Blue and Great Tits mist-netted at the Obs and continuing light passage of the likes of Common Gulls on the sea, but an Iceland Gull following the plough and loafing for a while in Top Fields did provide a morsel of quality. A pretty thin back-up list included a Black Redstart at Blacknor, 7 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Short-eared Owl at the Bill and 3 Common Scoter and 3 Red-throated Divers through on the sea there.

The Iceland Gull lured in by ploughing in Top Fields looks as though it could easily have been the individual recorded at the Bill last weekend © Roger Hewitt:

Changes afoot on the bird front remains very subtle for the moment; the likes of the wintering Purple Sandpipers are still on station © Ted Pressey: 

...but, for example, out to sea the Common Gulls are no longer lingering/feeding winterers but active migrants © Keith Pritchard: 

...whilst overhead Rooks are beginning to appear after having been absent all winter © Keith Pritchard:

Also from today, Ken Dolbear sent us through a photo of 3 Scarlet Tiger moth caterpillars basking in the sun in his garden at Easton this morning; we're always surprised at how successful a colonist this species has proved to be since it first reached the island in the early 1990s: although usually thought of as an inhabitant of damp places, it's now become really widespread in what's got to be one of the driest places in Dorset: