18th December

For what can often be a pretty uneventful time of year there's been plenty of variety to report just lately, with today proving to be no exception. In completely benign conditions a Puffin through off the Bill was particularly unexpected, with 3 Shelducks also passing by there and a Golden Plover overhead on the land hardly usual. Another 15 Redwings dropped in at the Bill and singles of Black Redstart and Blackcap were new at Southwell. Lingerers still about included the Hume's Warbler at Avalanche Road, 2 Black Redstarts and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill, 2 Chiffchaffs at Southwell and 3 Eider in Portland Harbour.

The moth-traps have been coming up with as many surprises as the birding, with a Pale Brindled Beauty at the Grove - the third island record? - the best of the night's catch; 2 Rusty-dot Pearl, a Diamond-back Moth and a Dark Sword Grass provided the immigrant interest there.

After what's hitherto been a poor year for Eider these three in Portland Harbour (there was a fourth individual with them when they first turned up) have been popular © Pete Saunders:

Kingfishers have been seen frequently along the harbour shore just lately - this one was off Hamm Beach today © Pete Saunders:

Although it seems as though suitable moth-trapping conditions are petering out for a few nights at least last night's Pale Brindled Beauty provided a nice finale for what's been a productive little spell through mid-December: