6th February

This is the time of year when it's very easy to get ahead of yourself but there was just a hint of some passage getting underway today: the first nocturnal Redwing since well before Christmas was heard over the Obs overnight, a summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull headed steadily up-Channel off the Bill and there was a clear increase in Lesser Black-backed Gulls. These little morsels of promise aside there was only routine fare to report: 240 Mediterranean Gulls and 12 Goosander at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour, 6 Purple Sandpipers and a Black Redstart at the Bill and a lone Red-throated Diver through off the Bill. Searches for the Hume's Warbler in increasingly dreary and ultimately wet conditions drew a blank.

Nine Lesser Black-backs settled at the Bill was the highest count there this winter, with the Scandinavian intermedius individual amongst them the first we've seen on the island since November © Martin Cade: