16th February

The turn around in the weather in recent days has been profound, with the wind and cold of the beginning of the week giving way to balmy sunshine today. A Red Kite responded quickly to the improvement and roamed about overhead during the morning, whilst the Thumb Lane Hume's Warbler also took advantage and showed for marginally longer than has been the case just lately. On the migrant front the first signs of Meadow Pipit passage were evident along West Cliffs and a handful more gulls were on the move off the Bill. Winter regulars making the list included 6 Common Scoter and 3 Red-throated Divers through off the Bill and 11 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Black Redstarts and a Reed Bunting on the land there.

Although much devalued inland Red Kites are still infrequent enough at Portland to retain something of a rarity cachet © Martin Cade:

The Hume's Warbler was still about at Thumb Lane but certainly wasn't giving itself up very easily; we managed less than a minute of video of it in nearly two hours of searching first thing this morning: