24th March

Thoughts that yesterday's upturn in sea passage would prove to be the precursor to a stronger pulse of movement today proved to be well wide of the mark, with no more than a dribble of routine early season offerings off both the Bill and Chesil; 20 Red-throated Divers passing the former was a worthwhile total, but the back-ups consisted of little more than 2 Sandwich Terns and singles of Manx Shearwater and Great Skua, with a Yellow-legged Gull amongst lower totals of a similar selection off Chesil. The land fared no better, with the dreary skies of dawn dropping little more than a handful of phylloscs and 3 Wheatears at the Bill/Southwell; 4 Black Redstarts, 2 Firecrests and a Merlin were also lingering there, with another 3 Black Redstarts on offer at Reap Lane.

Two of the four Black Redstarts at Southwell © Pete Saunders:

The arriving Chiffchaffs are finding provisioning themselves a lot easier now that Alexanders are coming into flower and attracting plenty of bugs © Pete Saunders: