30th March

Much improved conditions were welcomed for permitting comfortable fieldwork but were maybe a little too improved to deliver on the migrant front, with the starlit night sky giving delayed movers plenty of opportunity to make unhindered progress. What small flurry of arrivals there was was most evident at dawn when the mainly phylloscs involved moved through very quickly, and later as a trickle of routine diurnal migrants got moving; further later arrivals included the spring's first Redstart at Southwell, an Osprey heading through over the Grove and a likely Icelandic Redwing trapped at the Obs. The sea was disappointing, with the increasingly brisk onshore breeze delivering little more at the Bill than 100 Common Scoter and the first commic tern of the season.

We wouldn't have thought there's too much doubt that today's Redwing was Iceland-bound even it wasn't quite such a compellingly-marked individual as, for example, this fabulously swarthy specimen handled yesterday on Skokholm. Our take is that coburni Icelandic Redwings are genuinely rare visitors to Portland: we've handled or photographed a few here over the years and there are biometrics recorded in the Obs archives that suggest the occasional specimen was trapped before our time but there's no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Redwings recorded here originate from Scandinavia or points further east © Martin Cade: