3rd May

If the forecast was to be believed we really only had this morning to enjoy any land-based migration before the storm reached us. This was just how events played out with the wind gaining speed steadily through the morning, reaching well into gale-force by the evening.  The highlight on the land was a male Serin that came in calling and displayed beautifully at the top of the 'Brambling tree' in the Obs garden before disappearing. The sea was, of course, the focus of the day and a slow start was interrupted by a mid-morning Pomarine Skua and a Wood Sandpiper in past the obelisk. Things picked up from there and a flock of Eiders and a Velvet Scoter followed, as well as a small selection of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers, and 5 Great, 3 Arctic and another Pomarine Skua. As the day wore on, a movement of Manx Shearwaters developed with 500 through off the Bill and the first Balearic Shearwater of the year spotted amongst them off Chesil Cove. Waders were less conspicuous but three Whimbrel, 15 Knot, seven Dunlin and a Sanderling were added to the days totals. 

As with so many Portland Serin records, today's male was picked up first on call and dropped straight into the 'Brambling tree' (the large, solitary sycamore to the right of the Obs patio) before ranging more widely around the Obs garden:

The expected skua-fest was not a feature off the Bill where this Arctic was one of a day total of the three species combined that only just scraped into double figures:

The first big storm of the spring might have been expected to produce a stronger movement of Manx Shearwaters than the 500 logged at the Bill photos © Martin Cade: