16th December

Fair conditions prompted the 3 released Great Bustards to roam out as far as the island once again where they spent the afternoon at the Bill. Earlier there had been some decent movement on the sea, with 42 Red-throated Divers, 7 Common Scoter, 6 Pintail, a Brent Goose and a Velvet Scoter through off the Bill, and one or two newcomers on the land, with 3 Redwings, a Siskin and an extra Reed Bunting showing up at the Bill and another Redwing heading over Blacknor. Established winterers included 4 Great Northern Divers and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Ferrybridge, a Black-throated Diver and a Red-necked Grebe in Portland Harbour, a Black Redstart at Blacknor and a Blackcap at Weston.

Far removed from how you see 'proper' Great Bustards, today's reappearing trio of released birds looked as though they were rather too accustomed to human presence for their own good - a turkey alternative in the offing? © Martin Cade: