5th January

Give or take the odd passing shower during the morning today's sunshine and light breeze was a welcome novelty, quite apart from prompting a rash of coverage. Given that finches had still been on the move on every day of fair weather in early December it maybe wasn't too much of a surprise to see a few get going again today; the numbers might have dwindled but 27 Goldfinches and 6 Chaffinches through over the Bill and a Redpoll over Verne Common were good to see in January. The only other movement related to sea passage, with 16 Red-throated Divers, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Great Skuas and a Black-throated Diver through off the Bill and a Shelduck through at Portland Harbour. The miscellany of winterers exhibiting themselves rather better than has been the case for a lot of this winter included 7 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Short-eared Owls, 2 Firecrests, a Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff at the Bill, further Black Redstarts at Reap Lane and Chesil Cove (2), the Siberian Chiffchaff and 2 Chiffchaffs at Portland Castle and 9 Great Northern Divers and 5 Black-necked Grebes in Portland Harbour.

Short-eared Owls, Black Redstart, Kestrel and Purple Sandpipers - Portland Bill and Chesil Cove, 5th January 2016 © Mark Eggleton (Short-eared Owls and Black Red) and Matt Phipps (Kestrel and Purple Sands)