30th April

Today's ingredients might have offered promise but the recipe wasn't up to much and, by the end of the day, we'd been left hungry for more. The heavy cloud cover that rolled in overnight and drizzle that set in around dawn might on another occasion have provided us with a whopping fall but the propitious early signs with the likes of Cuckoo and Corn Bunting grounded proved not to be indicators of good things about to unfold and the day's grounded migrants totals were average at best; a lot of the late April regulars were represented but quality didn't get better than the lingering Ring Ouzel at Weston Street and 7 Pale-bellied Brent Geese settled in Portland Harbour. At times, particularly into the afternoon and evening when the breeze veered towards the south, the sea was worth a punt but, as with the land, the combined Bill and Chesil totals of, amongst others, 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Gadwall and 1 Great Skua left a lot to be desired; the total of more than 200 Gannets through off the Bill was a marked improvement on the dismal day-totals logged hitherto this spring that presumably reflect the severe hit dealt by avian flu to their wider population.