5th May

The battle of the Weather as the prevailing south-westerly rain storms hit the blasting easterly wind, unfortunate for those of us on the south coast as the competing fronts held the rain over Portland for most of the morning. Before the onset of the heaviest rain, two Avocets were found at Ferrybridge and a quick scan across Chesil Cove revealed two Great Northern Divers, one Red-throated Diver, two Mute Swans and four Grey Plovers. Understandably the morning list was much reduced, but once the rain had cleared a small pulse of common migrants included three apiece of Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat, two Redstarts and single figures of Phylloscs. Passage up the West Cliffs was much more limited than yesterday, although a rapid movement of 29 Swifts after the rain cleared suggested that there is still more to come on that front. The sea was relatively quiet although the evening produced the first Balearic Shearwater of the year and a single Black-throated Diver.

With it sufficiently damagingly windy that the ground was strewn with still tender leaves wrenched from trees and the usually indestructible trunk of one of the Tree Echiums at the Obs snapped in two it was hard going seeking out migrants at the Bill; however, the relative shelter of the gardens at Sweethill provided a welcome haven for both Spotted Flycatchers and Garden Warblers © Debby Saunders (Spot Fly) and Pete Saunders (Garden Warbler):