26th January

It's a sad reflection both of the quality of the day's observations and the sorry state of the local Greenfinch population that this winter's peak count of the latter at the Obs - just 17 birds - should be worth a meritorious mention. The only other reports were also from the Bill: 4 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Blackcaps on the land and 6 Red-throated Divers through on the sea.

Blackcap - Portland Bill, 26th January 2015 © Martin Cade
...proving rather more resilient than the Barred Warbler, these two Blackcaps arrived in mid-November and - quite unusually for the Obs where Blackcaps rarely linger much beyond the New Year - are still going strong. We learnt today from Charlie Richards that another two - males in this case - have been frequenting a well-provisioned garden at Fortuneswell all winter, whilst another single evidently visited a garden at the Grove last week; how many others are lurking in private gardens around the island?