6th January

A switch to easterly weather saw the temperature take a dip but the quality of the birding go up a notch, the latter as much because for once it wasn't either raining or too blastingly windy. A little pulse of movement off the Bill saw 16 Red-throated Divers, 9 Pintail, 6 Common Scoter and a Black-headed Gull pass by, with 10 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Reed Buntings and a Short-eared Owl the best on offer on the land. Further up island a Firecrest was at Southwell, another 2 Firecrests and the Yellow-browed Warbler were again at Pennsylvania Castle, a Black Redstart was again at Chesil Cove and, after dark, a Short-eared Owl was beside the Beach Road. The day's list from Portland Harbour included 9 Black-necked Grebes, 7 Great Northern Divers and singles of Black-throated Diver and Red-necked Grebe. What with it being both the first weekend of the new year and there being several bird race teams dashing about the area there was a rash of other reports that we haven't heard details of including a Black Guillemot settled off the Bill and an Iceland Gull at Chesil Cove.

There's been pretty well no moth news to report just lately - a few Winter Moths and a variety of common micros have been settled on the outside of lit windows at the Obs on the few nights that there hasn't been a gale blowing - but we've uploaded a preliminary report on last year's new and immigrant lepidoptera for the island Lepidoptera in 2017

The recent spell of stormy, westerly weather had led to quite an increase in Great Northern Divers seeking shelter in Portland Harbour; today's switch to easterlies saw a few of them getting quite flighty as they were perhaps getting fed up with it starting to get choppy in the harbour - these were two of several over Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders: