4th January

Portland didn't seem to fair as frostily as the mainland (as a sign of the dip in temperature a Lapwing had been heard over the Obs during the early hour) and it was a positive pleasure to be out exploring during the morning. Sadly, the quality of the birding wasn't up to much and the relatively mundane selection from the Bill got no better than 9 Red-throated Divers through on the sea and 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Redwings, a Black Redstart and a Greenfinch (the latter the first of the year there!) scattered on the land; the regular Black Redstart was also still about at Church Ope Cove.

With some business to attend to in Weymouth we took the opportunity to have a look for a couple of the lingering rarities there, neither of which we'd actually been back to see since their respective first appearances back in the autumn; fortuitously, both the Lesser Yellowlegs at Lodmoor and the Ring-necked Duck at Radipole required precious little effort to catch up with and were showing very nicely © Martin Cade: