14th January

As a very welcome change there was non-bird highlight today, with a Humpback Whale that headed south off Chesil Cove during the afternoon the day's headliner.

A better bird list than yesterday came only by virtue of improved conditions and better coverage. Four Short-eared Owls, the Grey Heron and a Reed Bunting were still in situ at the Bill, where 3 Red-throated Divers passed through on the sea; Firecrests were still about at Pennsylvania Castle (2) and Foundry Close, with 3 Redwings also at the latter, whilst totals from Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour included 115 Dunlin, 5 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and singles of Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe and Goosander.

The Humpback Whale was always distant and, sadly, appeared to be trailing some fishing equipment that included an orange float; it was last watched heading away south off West Cliffs but couldn't be picked up from either Blacknor or the Bill. As far as we know this is only the second Humpback Whale to be recorded in Portland waters - the first being a famous animal that spent most of a summer evening way back in 1991 close inshore at Chesil Cove © Peter Moore petermooreblog:

Black-throated Diver and Goosander over Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders: