4th April

A rank, miserable day dictated by strong winds, heavy showers and occasional hail led to the worst species list of recent weeks. However, every cloud has a silver lining and todays was that the wind had swung round to the South-west allowing for a slightly more productive sea-watch. Manx Shearwaters produced the bulk of the sightings with 70 recorded, followed by 47 Red-throated Divers and 12 Common Scoter; Bonxies also put in a decent showing with six individuals, four Sandwich Terns were present (although trumped by the number in the harbour), a pair of Brent Geese went East and were followed by singles of Black-throated Diver, Puffin, Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull. Land-based migrants were limited to a lone Swallow and low double figures of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

Elsewhere on the island Ferrybridge saw the highlight of the day in the form of a fly-by Little-ringed Plover, the first Whimbrel of the Spring, a Curlew, six Sanderling, two Dunlin and 32 Ringed Plover. The harbour was also productive with 21 feeding Sandwich Terns and a lone commic tern.

Sandwich Tern numbers are steadily on the up with, as usual, Portland Harbour their favoured feeding ground © Pete Saunders:

The season's first Sanderlings dropped in at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:

Seawatching wasn't as productive as might have been hoped: Red-throated Divers reached their spring peak to date but it's never a good sign when you have to while away time by blazing away at passing Gannets © Martin Cade:

And finally, with a couple of hours to kill around Weymouth in the evening we went looking for some gulls to check but ended up getting distracted by the Lesser Yellowlegs that was performing blisteringly well at Lodmoor © Martin Cade: