16th December

The Barred Warbler continued to provide more than enough interest for a mid-December day but there were also encouraging signs of late migrants still trickling through, with several Blackbirds and Song Thrushes, a Robin and a Bullfinch all new in at the Obs; winterers on offer there included 5 Purple Sandpipers, a Black Redstart and a Blackcap, whilst further Black Redstarts remained on station at Blacknor, Chesil Cove (3) and Portland Castle, and singles of Pheasant, Grey Wagtail, Redwing and Chiffchaff were at Southwell. A Red-throated Diver was new at Portland Harbour, where 4 Eider, the Black Guillemot and a variety of divers and grebes were all still present. The calm, sunny conditions also produced the best offshore movement of Red-throated Divers so far this winter, with 22 through off the Bill during the morning. Finally, Portland's attraction for dodgy Great Bustards continued with 3 doing a quick tour overhead during the morning.

A Red Admiral was on the wing at the Obs.

Bullfinch and Great Bustards - Portland Bill, 16th December 2014 © Martin Cade (Bullfinch) and Keith Pritchard (Great Bustards)
...we dropped in at Portland Castle during the afternoon where, inevitably, the Black Guillemot was as distant as usual: