9th April

The beginning of the end of our interlude of fair weather saw a relatively poor return from the land but a very varied sea passage and some quality overhead. A Common Crane over Weston was the day's highlight, with a strong back-up in the form of the Cirl Bunting again overhead at the Bill, a Red Kite also overhead, a brief Serin dropping in at the Obs and firsts for the year in the form Common Sandpiper, Great Skua, Little Tern (2) and Redpoll from the Chesil seawatching; there was also a report of the Hoopoe seen briefly again at New Ground. Grounded numbers were largely inconsequential, with the total of just 20 Willow Warblers at the Bill adequately reflecting the dearth of commoner migrants everywhere, with 2 Black Redstarts about as good as it got for oddities; what were poor conditions for dropping migrants proved to be better for diurnal fare, with a steady if unspectacular passage of most of the early April regulars, amongst which single figure totals of White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit were of interest. The easterly breeze resulted in a strong showing from the sea, with Common Scoter easily exceeding 200 and commic terns just getting past 100; 9 Arctic Skuas, 8 Red-throated Divers, 8 Curlew, 7 Little Gulls, 3 Teal, 6 Sanderling and a Grey Plover provided further interest, mainly off Chesil.

The Red Kite over the Bill © Martin Cade...

...and a few of the Common Scoter passing the Bill © Mike Trew:

The scoters aside, it was one of those rubbish days for seawatch record shots: horrible harsh light, hazy, everything miles away etc etc - all the usual excuses churned out as to excuse your already lousy abilities; these were two of the Little Gulls passing the Bill © Martin Cade: