18th – A day of weather contrasts – a fine morning sandwiched between a post-dawn shower and a much wetter afternoon – produced a maybe overdue highlight in the form of a brief Iceland Gull off the Bill in the morning; another 5 Red-throated Divers and a Common Scoter also passed through on the sea there, whilst at dusk 3 Woodcock were seen in flight beside the Bill road.
19th – Wall to wall glorious sunshine today. An Iceland Gull was again lingering off the Bill for a while early in the morning before it headed away west towards Chesil Cove; the only other worthwhile report from there was of a Goldeneye also heading west. Elsewhere there were 35 Great Crested Grebes, 17 Black-necked Grebes, a Red-necked Grebe and a Slavonian Grebe in Portland Harbour.
20th – Another pleasant day but nothing out of the ordinary to report from the Bill, where 5 Red-throated Divers passed by on the sea and 4 Turnstones, 2 Purple Sandpipers and singles of Golden Plover and Redwing were about on the land. A party of Bottle-nosed Dolphins – 8 or so – headed west off the Bill early in the morning.
21st – In very mild but increasing breezy conditions 29 Red-throated Divers and 10 Common Scoter passed through off the Bill and 260 Mediterranean Gulls, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Wigeon were at Ferrybridge. A small party of Bottle-nosed Dolphins lingered off the Bill throughout the afternoon. A Speckled Wood butterfly – the earliest ever recorded at Portland – was on the wing at Old Hill during the morning.
22nd – Relatively poor reward from the few hours birding possible before the promised rain arrived early in the afternoon: 4 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Great Skua passed through off the Bill and 180 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Shelduck and a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose were at Ferrybridge.
23rd – The arrival of some very mild air behind yesterday’s weather front brought with it the first signs of spring gull passage off the Bill, where a mid-morning sample half-hour count produced totals of 202 Common Gulls and 41 Black-headed Gulls heading up-Channel; 19 Red-throated Divers, 4 Common Scoter and 2 Mallard also passed by there. The day’s only other reports were of singles of Black Redstart and Chiffchaff still at the Bill.
24th – Just a handful of seawatch reports on another mild, quiet day: 13 Red-throated Divers, 2 Common Scoter and a Great Skua through off the Bill. Three Bottle-nosed Dolphins were off East Cliffs between Southwell and the Bill early in the morning. Also a couple of snippets of ‘better late than never’ news that we gleaned today: about a week ago there were 3 Avocets at Ferrybridge (with 1 still present the following day on the sandbanks in Portland Harbour), whilst about three weeks ago there was another Portland and Dorset record count of just over 700 Mediterranean Gulls at Ferrybridge.