9th December

The rapid return of calm conditions was welcome even if it was hardly balmy under an increasingly dreary sky. A handful of new finds on the land included Black Redstarts at the Bill and at Ferrybridge, a Little Egret and a Brambling at the Bill and a Chiffchaff at Southwell; a Great Spotted Woodpecker trapped at the Obs was also found to be an unringed individual and so not one of the four ringed through the autumn at the Bill. Regulation winterers showing up on the land included 2 Firecrests, a Water Rail, a Purple Sandpiper, a Reed Bunting at the Bill, a Black Redstart at Church Ope Cove and a Firecrest at Broadcroft. The Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour selection included 14 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Redshanks, 3 Great Northern Divers, 2 Shelducks, 2 Goosanders and a Black-throated Diver.

Black-throated Divers have been very unreliable visitors in recent winters so the presence of what looks to be more than one individual at Portland Harbour/Ferrybridge in recent days has been very welcome © Pete Saunders: 

More routine winter fare included this Great Northern Diver in Portland Harbour © Pete Saunders: 

...these three of the four Redshanks at Ferrybridge © Debby Saunders: 

...and this Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill © Martin Cade: