29th March

Despite the general feeling of a much quieter day, another first for the Spring was recorded in the form of an Osprey high over the West Cliffs this afternoon. Other than this numbers were thin on the ground with little but the remaining Hoopoe and a Puffin off the Bill to spark much enthusiasm. Commoner migrants were in short supply but included a reasonable passage of hirundines, a smattering of phylloscs, six Wheatears, a White Wagtail, a Black Redstart and a Fieldfare at the Bill, a singing Firecrest at Weston and 2 more Black Redstarts at Reap Lane; 2 Short-eared Owls were also still lingering at the Bill. The sea produced little of note with 17 Common Scoter and five Red-throated Divers through off the Bill and another Red-throated Diver settled off Chesil. In non-avian news the seeming bloom of Barrel Jellyfish continued with six along the West Cliffs and a Large Tortoiseshell was briefly in Fortuneswell. 

On another gloriously sunny day the year's first Osprey had been much predicted and duly whipped through off West Cliffs late in the afternoon © Dan Law:

The Hoopoe entertained for another day at Reap Lane © Brendan Sheils:

Black Redstarts are always a sought-after scarcer migrant in early spring and have been featuring quite well in recent days; by the look of its ring this male at the Bill yesterday was the one we'd trapped the day before © Geoff Orton:

...whilst this female/immature was at the Bill today © Mike Trew:

It's looking like there's the beginnings of another good incursion of barrel jellyfish into Portland waters with plenty visible off West Cliffs over the last couple of day (...is this happening more often these days or did we just overlook them in the past? - we seem to remember that 20-30 years ago there'd be the odd year every now and again when a few would be reported but now good arrivals seem to have become a nearly annual event) © Andy Luckhurst:

...the Guillemots seemed genuinely curious as to what the large gelatinous monster floating towards them was up to...  © Erin Taylor: