7th March

Quiet, overcast conditions looked promising for a few arrivals but plenty of fieldwork revealed precious little of note: another small pulse of 10 Stonechats at the Bill were certainly new, as were the continuing trickle of incoming Meadow Pipits and alba wagtails, but the likes of a Long-tailed Tit at the Obs, a Chiffchaff at Southwell, a Blackcap at Thumb Lane and 4 Redwings at Suckthumb Quarry were all thought to be winterers or local wanderers. It was even a struggle to get much of a list from the sea: a minimum of 24 Mediterranean Gulls amongst an obvious influx of Common Gulls were of note at the Bill where 2 Red-throated Divers also passed by. A varied tally of lingerers included the Hume's Warbler at Thumb Lane, 7 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Short-eared Owls at the Bill, a Great Spotted Woodpecker (that has now taken to drumming) at Pennsylvania Castle and the Bill, 54 Brent Geese at Ferrybridge and 10 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Eider and 2 Common Scoter in Portland Harbour.

We took advantage of today's quiet conditions to have a look for the Thumb Lane Hume's Warbler that hadn't been reported for a few days. Although it was still about it hadn't become any easier to get to grips with in the three weeks or so since our last look at it - in fact it seems to have become considerably less vocal in that time which meant that for the most part it was really tricky to keep tabs on © Martin Cade:

In the absence of much in the way of proper migrants it was at least nice to see some gull passage, amongst which a flurry of passing Mediterranean Gulls were noteworthy © Martin Cade:

The wintering Eiders in Portland Harbour lingered on © Debby Saunders:

And, a tad later than in the last two years, the Widow Iris at Broadcroft is just coming into flower © Ken Dolbear: