15th April

With a southeasterly gusting up towards gale force at times the sea was crying out for attention and Chesil was always going to be odds-on to come up with both the numbers and variety today - and so it came to pass. Good coverage there early and late in the day was rewarded with the likes of 71 Bar-tailed Godwits, 43 Whimbrel, 14 Garganey, 11 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 8 Arctic Terns, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Sanderling and 2 Little Terns among the more routine fare. For the most part the Bill was quieter although Manx Shearwaters staged their first decent show of the spring (ordinarily, 250 would be a woefully low total for a blustery day at this time of year but Manx just don't seem to be utilizing this part of the Channel at the moment) and 2 Gadwall were additions on the variety front. The seawatchers tapped into a steady overhead passage of arriving Swallows, Meadow Pipits and finches but grounded migrants looked to be genuinely few and far between rather than just keeping their heads down.

Flocks of Garganey and Shoveler were nice highlights from the early seawatch at Chesil © Pete Saunders (Garganey) and Joe Stockwell (Shovelers):

The Garganey weren't in a hurry and spend a long time lingering off Chesil before eventually heading out towards the Bill where they settled for a while just west of Pulpit Rock © Martin Cade:

Seawatch interest also included a few Arctic Skuas - this one passed through off the Bill © Martin Cade...

...whilst this one - and a few Whimbrel - was off Chesil © Pete Saunders: