17th February

Another lovely, mild and bright day saw further apparent early arrivals pitch up, notably singles of Chiffchaff at the Obs, Southwell and Blacknor, and 2 or more Firecrests at Southwell; the fine conditions also tempted the wintering Yellow-browed Warbler into view for the first time in a while - on this occasion at the Church Ope carpark. Standard fare also putting in appearances included 9 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Short-eared Owls and a Firecrest at the Bill, 5 Red-throated Divers through off the Bill, a Blackcap at Pennsylvania Castle, 17 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Great Northern Divers in Portland Harbour and singles of Mute Swan and Bar-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge.

There have been Firecrests about like this one at the Obs that arrived last October © Martin Cade...

...but a flurry of two or three at Southwell - this one was the first at the site for nearly three months - looked to be fresh in © Nick Stantiford:

Several of the Portland Harbour Black-necked Grebes are beginning to colour up really well © Pete Saunders (upper photo) and Nick Stantiford (lower photo): 

With hundreds of their kind at the other end of the Fleet you'd think that Mute Swans would be a frequent sight at Ferrybridge but they're actually really infrequent visitors there © Pete Saunders:

The Barn Owl(s) continue to be a daily sight at Southwell © Pete Saunders: