|Looking up the East Cliffs toward Purbeck|
Male Ring Ouzel on the slopes near the neolithic site was a promising start. Then down to the Bill car park and Swallows were in off the sea in a constant stream. Probably low hundreds during the day, with a House Martin and 5 Sand Martins. There was a Wheatear near the bill - the first of 12 during the day and a hint of things to come. The sea was largely void as expected, with some Guillemots lounging near the cliffs. I thought a distant large brown bird was my first skua of the year, but no it was a Creamcrown Marsh Harrier making its way to landfall somewhere along Chesil beach.
Up the west cliffs to the Top Fields. A male Redstart was the first of 4 seen during the day, and a White Wagtail was present, identification of this presenting no problem now I am an expert (see previous post). On to the top fields proper, and more Wheatears, another Redstart, 3 White Wagtails on a strip of freshly ploughed field, and two Short-Eared Owls in a bush showing fantastically well. A Peregrine zipped around amongst some Buzzards and a Raven. the first of a number of views of Peregrine as they hunted over the bill area presumably looking to feed the growing chicks somewhere down the West Cliffs.
|Shy SEO in bush|
|Hoopoe heading off to the dusky periphery of my scope view.|
|The crowd waits for the Subalpine Warbler to appear ...|
Great weather, great scenery, great birds, good chat with other birders. The kind of day that you wish you could repeat over and over, step for step, bird for bird. Fantastic.